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Four Suspected Smugglers Captured in One Week

Published 08/27/12

(The following is an excerpt from LAGA's monthly report for July 2012.)

One of the suspected traders sits
with confiscated ivory behind him.
More Last Great Ape project images

This month was marked by good operations in Cameroon and training carried out in South Sudan. Three operations were carried out against four dealers.

Two major dealers arrested for trying to trade in a live mandrill in Ambam (South). They initially resisted arrest, arguing and fighting with the operations team. They claim to have sold many live primates before and that they have been in the trade for long.

A military man arrested with two elephant tusks and teeth while trying to illegally trade in them in Douala (Littoral). Because of his job, it is suspected that he uses this means to trade in ivory internationally; this is still being investigated.

Another well-known ivory trafficker arrested with six elephant tusks in Yaounde (Center). He travelled all the way from Sangmelima (South) with the ivory for his client in Yaounde. He proposed 500.000 FCFA (about $1,000) to the arresting team for his release, an act that was immediately squelched by the LAGA team in place.

In another operation, two well-known, well-connected and wealthy ivory traffickers were arrested for trafficking 24 elephant tusks in Sangmelima (South) which they hid in their car. Investigation information shows that he gets ivory from Congo and Gabon and has buyers as far as Nigeria. LAGA has been tracking him for the past three years.

Three cases were sentenced this month against fivedealers. The Court of First Instance of Abong Mbang (East) sentenced a major dealer to two years' imprisonment and his two accomplices to five months imprisonment each; they are to pay jointly 3.029.000 FCFA (about $6000) as damages and fines. They were arrested in Messok (East) for killing of elephants.

In another case in Abong Mbang, a dealer in elephant tails was sentenced to five months of prison term and to pay a sum 2.780.000 FCFA (about $5,600) as damages and fines. The Court of First Instance of Djoum (South) sentenced another dealer to one year imprisonment and to pay a sum 3.178.000 FCFA (about $6,300) as damages and fines; he was arrested in Mintom (South) with eight elephant tails.

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