Archive for Gabon
www.guardian.co.uk 12th December 2010
A united effort by police forces in Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic (CAR) has broken up a highly organised smuggling ring that transported endangered species abroad. Key dealers were arrested and hundreds of kilos of ivory, turtle shells, and animal skins seized. The effort was orchestrated by the Last Great Ape Organisation, a wild-life enforcement NGO, and signals a new step in cross-border cooperation on the subject of endangered species protection. In Cameroon, three dealers were arrested with 17 turtle shells and a 1,000 African grey parrots destined for Nigeria. A policeman was also arrested in suspicion of receiving bribes of £2,000. In Gabon, 16 dealers were arrested with 150 kg of ivory, worth about £90,000. It is thought to have been headed for China, the largest market for such products. It is the first time ivory dealers have been locked away in the country. In the CAR, 7 leopard skins, 2 lion skins, and over 30 kg of ivory were discovered and one dealer taken into custody. Wildlife preservation in central Africa has been difficult in the past due to poor legislation and weak enforcement. Corruption has also been a big problem with all four of the countries fairing poorly in Transparency International’s monitoring of corruption issues.