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Gabon seizes more than 200 kg of ivory, smugglers held


Map of Gabon-Image source nativevillage

Map of Gabon-Image source nativevillage

Two Gabonese ivory traffickers have been arrested in the capital Libreville with 206 kilograms (454 pounds) of ivory taken from 21 slaughtered elephants, a wildlife protection group said Wednesday, describing it as a “record seizure”.

“Adamou Ba Mamadou and Adamou Nouhou, two Gabonese citizens, were arrested by the water and forests authority and police investigators as they were trying to sell their wares,” said Conservation Justice, a Gabonese NGO that campaigns against poaching and wildlife trade.

Adamou Nouhou is an official with the water and forests authority, the group added.

“Both were buying ivory throughout the country before exporting it to Cameroon, indeed towards west Africa, before the ivory arrived at its final destination in Asia. This was really an international trafficking network,” Conservation Justice said.

The two traffickers are set to appear before prosecutors in Libreville on Friday on charges of ivory trafficking and illicit enrichment.

Sparsely populated Gabon has huge forests that are home to more than half of Africa’s forest-dwelling elephants.

But the country’s elephant population is under constant threat from poachers, with more than 20,000 killed in a decade, according to the National Parks Agency.

The world’s black-market ivory trade — which is threatening Africa’s elephant populations with extinction — is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used in traditional medicine and to make jewellery and decorative objects.

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