Conservation Justice worked with the gabon Judicial Police to arrest elephant poachers based on their investigations in Gabon. 15 traffickers and elephant poachers in the Woleu-Ntem province and 3 in Nyanga province were arrested in February and are currently behind bars in the Woleu-Ntem locality and in Nyanga respectively. As a result of these arrests, remaining elephants may actually have a chance to survive. A bit of hope in an otherwise very grim picture.
From the beginning of this year, more than 350 kg of ivory was seized representing more than 50 tusks, a massacre of 25 elephants. Investigations by the AALF ((Appui à l’Application de la Loi sur la Faune) project, a partnership between Conservation Justice and the Forestry Ministry, resulted in the confiscation of 33 tusks, totaling 280 kg since January.
The tusks seized represent only a small part of the traffic as tusks are usually not seized but exported out of the country and find their way to Thailand, China, Japan. We believe the seizure of very small tusks represent left-over that did not pass the selection of the bigger ivory syndicates.
Luc Mathot of Conservation Justice: “The criminals arrested last night gave ample information that we hope will lead to more arrests soon.”
On the illegal logging front, our new project ALEFI is fruitful with the arrests of four local criminals and hopefully a few Chinese criminals arrested. “The project, which tackles corruption and illegality in the forest sector, is our alternative to the Independent Observer approach as we try to demonstrate that the approach of our network to wildlife law enforcement can be applied to Illegal logging, bringing arrests, prosecutions and anti-corruption work to the sleepy fight against illegal logging, where NGOs play a limited role.”