June 9, 2021
The Mozambican police in Maputo arrested two men in possession of 11 elephant tusks suspected to be intended for illegal ivory trafficking, the police announced on Tuesday.
The two Mozambicans were arrested at their home, where they were keeping the tusks. The National Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic) action was triggered after a complaint from the public.
Investigations continue to ascertain the connections of the two suspects.
The killing of protected species (fauna and flora) remains a concern in Mozambique. A month ago, Sernic arrested five other people in the act when they intended to sell 11 tusks in the central province of Tete.
Between 2010 and 2014, it is estimated that Mozambique lost about 1,200 elephants a year, a figure that has dropped to 127 in 2015 and 26 elephants in 2019, according to data from the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC).
The reduction is attributed to a combination of factors, including aerial surveillance, ground patrol, the presence of special forces on the ground and the involvement of authorities from neighbouring countries.
The 2018 census found that Mozambique has a total of 9,122 elephants.