Arrest of Infamous Poacher and Trafficker

Jean-Philippe Nkaga, known ivory trafficker, at the time of his arrest (c) Conse

Jean-Philippe Nkaga, a known ivory dealer and poacher, was arrested on 7th December in Minvoul, Northern Gabon, thanks to the efforts of the Judicial Police, the Water and Forests Department and Conservation Justice (a member of the  EAGLE law enforcement network). Nkaga is suspected not only to be behind the mass slaughter of elephants but also to coordinate the trafficking of the resultant ivory.

A repeat offender, he had previously been sentenced to 5 months in prison at the end of 2011 for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition thought to have been used for “large-scale poaching”. These are just the latest two in a string of arrests Nkaga has faced, for offences including murder, assault of an ecoguard and possession of marijuana. This most recent arrest resulted from an investigation into three men detained for elephant poaching in August 2013, which releaved that Nkaga was the owner of the 17kg of ivory that was seized.

The current laws are a weak deterrent given what’s at stake. They fail to take into account the consequences of poaching, both in terms of the protection of threatened species and national and international security issues. It has emerged that the sale of ivory and other wildlife products is being used to fund militia and rebels in some African countries and ivory trafficking enables corruption and money laundering, adding to insecurity through the financing of criminal networks.

Help to fund the sorely needed protection of elephants in Ethiopia

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