Dismantling ivory trafficking in the Republic of Congo

Raw and carved ivory seized in Republic of Congo, March 2013 (c) PALF

In the on-going battle against poaching in Central Africa, elephants have an ally in a small but committed force, working tirelessly to secure ivory seizures but perhaps more importantly, arrests and convictions of significant players in the ivory trafficking business.

Last week, a major ivory trafficking ring in the Republic of Congo was infiltrated and more than 40 kg of raw and worked ivory seized from two carving workshops in Brazzaville, belonging to some of the country’s biggest ivory traffickers. Also seized were 10 elephant tails, confirming a direct link between the poachers and production of ivory trinkets.

Intelligence and planning for this operation was provided by Born Free Foundation partner PALF (Project for the Application of the Law for Fauna) over the course of several months. Several arrests have been made and further investigations and arrests are expected if the full support of the judiciary is to be focused on this case. PALF is pushing hard so that justice is achieved for Central Africa’s beleaguered forest elephant populations which are known to have declined drastically in recent decades.

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