By Khephren Fanga
Gabon's wildlife continues to undergo daily human pressures despite some arrests and awareness campaigns to protect its environmental heritage. And the elephants still raise a particular interest for poachers and traffickers, sometimes placed very high, because the price of ivory stirs desires. The vigilance of the security forces, even during holidays and professional duty has once again demonstrated the threat to these iconic species.
As of December 26th, 2014 at about 3 am, during a routine check at the checkpoint in the village Yen on the Makokou-Lalara axis, the gendarmerie platoon arrested two traffickers: EL Hadje Inoua and NTONGA Assouman the brain of the group, in possession of 21 tusks and 09 pieces of ivory. A total of over 110 kg seized ivory and hidden in a NISSAN vehicle registered G9B-7649. This corresponds to around fifteen killed elephants.
SAIDOU ABOUBAKAR their accomplice, had on him 2,324,000 FCFA and attempted to bribe the police with the promise of adding another 2.5 million CFA francs. EL Hadje Inoua, NTONGA Assouman and SAIDOU ABOUBAKAR were brought before the Prosecutor of the Republic to the Court of Makokou, December 29, 2014, with all the seized ivory and money of the attempted bribery. One can only congratulate the integrity and effectiveness of the police who have completed this action. This is an example for all other judicial police officers in the country.
After the hearing a judicial investigation was opened and the respondents were placed in custody. Recall that hunting, possession, transportation and marketing of fully protected species or their products are prohibited under the provisions of Article 92 of the Forestry Code and that any offender is liable to penalties of up to six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of 10 million. Not to mention the corruption offense exposing their authors to a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine of two million according to Article 145 of the Gabonese Penal Code.