By Adow Mohamed
An Interpol investigation reveals 2013 recorded the largest global large-scale ivory and rhino horn seizures in East Africa. This accounted for 41.6 tonnes of ivory mirroring heightened elephant poaching throughout Africa.
A significant portion of the game trophies are destined for international markets, especially Asia. According to the report, ‘Elephant Poaching and Ivory Trafficking in East Africa, Assessment for an Affective Law Enforcement Response’, trafficking syndicates operate in multiple countries with East Africa’s elephants and rhinos facing possible extinction.
“These crime syndicates source ivory from several hundred elephants for each shipment and they bear the primary responsibility for the drastic decline of African elephant population,” says the report.It adds: “The majority of large-scale ivory seizures have occurred in maritime ports.”
The ivory is normally hidden in shipping containers and is usually concealed by other lawful goods. According to the report, wildlife crime is estimated to be worth US$15-20 billion annually, ranking as the fourth largest global illegal trade after illegal drugs, human trafficking and trade in illegal arms.
David Higgins, the head of the Interpol’s Environmental Crime Program said countries should share information on poaching