A network of presumed traffickers of ivory dismantled in Etoumbi (Republic
of the Congo)
Groupe Congo Medias
February 15, 2019

The elephants, emblematic animals of the Republic of the Congo continue to
fall under the bullets of human greed.

A sad symbol reflecting the ecological climate of the country.

The arrest of six suspected ivory traffickers on Tuesday, February 05, 2019
in Etoumbi in the Department of West Cuvette is a perfect illustration.

These individuals, all Congolese nationals, were caught in the bag with 41
ivory tusks weighing 90 kg. The ivory tusks seized represent a massacre of
more than 20 elephants.

This operation was the work of the eco-guards of the PNOK (Odzala Kokoua
National Park) and the National Gendarmerie with the support of the PALF
(Wildlife Law Enforcement Support Project).

It is a network whose roles are well determined: buyers of ivory spikes,
carriers, marketers, resellers … They enjoyed until then a certain laxity
and cross-border connections with Gabon, allowing them to continually
escape justice.

This time their macabre race has been stopped and they will have to answer
for their actions and pay the consequences. They are being prosecuted for
importing, holding, illegal circulation and marketing trophies of an
entirely protected animal species (elephant). They face up to five years’

Given the extent of the pressure on elephants, the involvement of all to
denounce traffickers to the competent authorities and the rigorous
application of the Congolese law on wildlife crime become very important
actions in the fight against poaching and wildlife trafficking.

The elephant is part of the fully protected species in the Republic of
Congo, as stipulated in Article 27 of the Congolese law for the protection
of these wildlife species: “import; export; the detention and transit over
the national territory of fully protected species; as well as their
trophies are strictly forbidden; except special derogation of the water and
forest administration; for the purposes of scientific research”.