Cameroon: Illegal Elephant Dealer Arrested

by Mar 9, 2010Elephants

On February 19, 2010, an ivory dealer was ordered to serve a prison term of 8 months and to pay as damages and court charges the sum of about FCFA 1.2 Million by the Yaounde Court of first instance. Until the judgment, the ivory dealer Ousmanou Abdoulaye, who was arrest in October 11, 2009, has been under detention at the Kondengui Central Prison.


In May 2006, 3.9 tons of ivory shipped from the Douala port were seized in Hong-Kong- a result of an investigation carried out by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, in collaboration with the Forces of Law and Order, the Customs and LAGA- an international Non Governmental Organization specialized in wildlife law enforcement. The seizure in Hong-Kong represented more than 300 elephants killed to obtain ivory. And in 2009, close to 1 ton of ivory was seized in Douala, suspected to have been obtained after killing more than 100 elephants. Outside Cameroon, the Head of a gang of 4 wildlife traffickers of Chinese nationality is now behind bars in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo for illegally trading in ivory.

The massive killing of African elephants is attributed to increasing demand of ivory in Asian countries, notably in China. That explains why from the 13th Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Cameroon has constantly alerted Parties that Chinese market represents a great threat to Cameroon elephants, whereby large amount of ivory are illegally trafficked from the Douala port.

In Asian markets illegal trade preference is said to be given to Central and West African forest elephants. At this rate of poaching African elephants, their population on the continent is reported to have dropped from 1.3 million to 625 000 between 1976 and 1989. On current trends, Professor Samuel Wasser of the University of Washington says, by their estimates, more than 38 000 African elephants were reported killed for ivory trade in 2006 alone.A report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) captioned: China, Ivory Trade and the Future of Africa’s Elephants, states, “China’s rising demand for ivory has triggered increased poaching in a number of African countries, decimating many elephant populations”. On the implication of Chinese nationals in ivory trafficking the report explains, “Chinese citizens or companies have been prosecuted for illegal ivory trade in 23 of Africa’s 37 elephant range states”.