By Khephren Fanga
Following the arrest of ivory dealer Abdou DANKASSOUA, on March 14th in Lastourville in possession of eight ivory tusks, he was unshod to Koulamoutou the following Monday, March 17. Yesterday a sentence of six months imprisonment and a 5 million FCFA fine were delivered during the hearing against the criminal.
As a reminder , the arrest had taken place at 21:30 in front of the Petro Gabon gas station in Lastourville. After identification, the target was instantly apprehended and taken to the Judicial Police station in Koulamoutou where he had spent the night in custody. The trafficker was arrested in possession of eight (8) pieces of ivory weighing a total of 12 kilos.
The prosecutor had tried in vain during the transmission of the file to the public prosecutor to make the defendant talk, he refused to denounce his accomplices. Abdou DANKASSOUA was then placed in custody and presented at the hearing on Thursday, March 20th. At the said hearing, the prosecutor in his submissions asked for a prison term of six months in prison and a fine of 7,000,000. On April 3rd, a sentence of imprisonment for 6 months and a fine of 5 million were given during the hearing of deliberation.
Compared to the non-dissuasive penalties in the cases of Martin and Rose MBIDA MVOUMA who had just got ten days in jail and similar sentences, this decision by the judges in Koulamoutou sounds like a real thunderbolt .
Six months in prison, the legal maximum and 5,000,000 on the 10 million maximum, you could say he has almost been sentenced to the maximum penalty. However, this is still little in comparison with the law and penalties in Congo and Cameroon, where offenders can face a maximum of 5 years and 3 years. Hopefully other strong decisions like this will follow.