Ten ivory tips were seized from four alleged traffickers in several localities in southern Gabon. These individuals face up to ten years in prison under the provisions of Article 388 of the Gabonese Penal Code.
On 29 September 2022 in Ngounié, a province in the south of Gabon, a mixed team of officers from the judicial police and the provincial water and forestry department, supported by the nature conservation organisation Conservation Justice, disrupted a group of alleged wildlife criminals operating in the town of Mouila. The two interventions led to the successive arrest of an entrepreneur in Mouila and two of his accomplices in the neighbouring town of Lébamba.
In Mouila, the entrepreneur, who is believed to be the broker of the group, was arrested as he was about to conclude a transaction for the sale of eight ivory tips. Further investigations led the agents of the mixed team to the trail of the owner of the ivory tips. He was arrested in Lebamba with another member of the group a few hours later. The latter were also in possession of hunting equipment, including two 12-gauge weapons and several rounds of ammunition, which were also seized.
The three members of the group were taken into custody at the Mouila judicial police station pending their transfer to Libreville, the Gabonese capital, where they will be presented to the special prosecutor’s office.
Another ivory trafficker in Lastourville
The anti-poaching and illegal wildlife trade operation carried out on 29 September 2022 in the towns of Mouila and Lebamba came two days after another operation in Lastourville, another town in southern Gabon.
According to information gathered from the joint team, the alleged trafficker was an employee of a local logging company, and the marketing of ivory was a parallel activity that he carried out in the locality with several accomplices.
At the time of his arrest, the judicial police and Water and Forests agents discovered two ivory points that he was preparing to sell. According to his statements, the real owner of the ivory was a repeat offender known to the police. The latter is reportedly on the run and is being “actively” sought by the judicial police units. All of these alleged traffickers will have to answer for possession and attempted commercialisation of ivory. They risk up to ten years in prison in accordance with the provisions of Article 388 of the Penal Code in force in Gabon.