Cameroon: Three ivory traffickers shall appear in court

19 November 2020

Three suspected wildlife traffickers shall appear at the Court of First Instance of Ndokoti in Douala on November 26, 2020 to answer to charges ofivory trafficking. The threewere arrested on May 7 during a crackdown operation carried out by the Littoral Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife in collaboration with the Police.

They were found withan unlawful possession of 26 kg of ivory tusks. The operation wascarried out with the technical assistance of LAGA, a non-governmental organization.

Every year, 20,000 to 30,000 elephants are killed for their ivory, that's 50 to 80 per day as reported by World Wild Fund for Nature. An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by traffickers seeking ivory and body parts as posted on the World Elephant Day site.There are only 400,000 African elephants left in the world due to the insatiable lust for ivory products especially in Asian. The rise in ivory trafficking has therefore contributed to a significant reduction in the elephant population.Recently, a man was intercepted in the border town of Ambam with 626 kg of ivory. Despite some progress made in conservation, particularly in terms of enforcement of wildlife legislations, the practice remains endemic.

Ivory traffickers must therefore be subjected to exemplary sanctions in order to serve as an example and deter anyone who would consider engaging in this illegal practice. The 1994 wildlife law states that anyone found in possession of a totally protected species is liable to a prison term of 3 years and/or pay a fine of up to 10 million FCFA. Elephants are classified as protected species and the trafficking of elephant's part is totally prohibited.

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