Ivory trafficking: 4 Gabonese in the trap in Mulundu
September 16, 2021
Alain Moukombou, Romuald Kassa, Gervais Bamdjogo and Ralph Ngayïkoukoudié, all Gabonese nationals, were arrested on 14 September to Mulundu in Ogooué-Lolo, in possession of six ivory tusks. Placed in custody to view the premises of the Judicial Police (PJ) Koula-mouto u, suspected traffickers face up to 10 years in prison.
The fight against ivory trafficking is not easy in Gabon. An operation carried out by the wildlife brigade of Ndangui and the Judicial Police (PJ) of Koula-Moutou, supported by the NGO Conservation Justice, on September 14 in Mulundu, in Ogooué-Lolo, led to the arrest of 4 suspected ivory traffickers.
Alain Moukombou, residing in Bambidie-village, and Romuald Kassa, residing in Moanda, fell into the net. Of Gabonese nationality, the two individuals were in possession of two ivory tusks cut into six concealed pieces. Heard, the alleged traffickers would, at first, claim to have picked up the ivory tusks. Then finally, they confessed to having taken them into the hands of alleged hunters. The operation continued with a search of Alain Moukombou’s home, where a 12-gauge type rifle was seized.
According to information given by the two men, a raid was carried out in the villages of Baposso and Likokodiba. At the end of this intervention, Gervais Bamdjogo alias Koko and Ralph Ngayïkoukoudié, both Gabonese, were arrested. When questioned, they confessed to having killed an elephant in the village of Likokodiba in the period of December 2020. A 12-caliber and some ammunition were seized on them. During a search in Moanda, 4 new ivory tusks were seized again on September 15.
The four alleged traffickers are currently being held in police custody in Koula-Moutou PJ, pending their transfer to Libreville. They must be presented before the Special Prosecutor’s Office to answer for the facts of hunting, possession and attempted sale of ivory without prior authorization from the competent authorities. The accused face up to ten years in prison.