Wildlife crime on the rise in Franceville

by Luc Mathot
Wildlife crime on the rise in Franceville
The four traffickers arrested
The four traffickers arrested

The Haut Ogooué province is becoming one of the major poles of poaching in Gabon, even Central Africa, as more and more traffickers becomee reluctant to kill animals in order to profit from the sale of their products.

Following recurrent information relating to trafficking of protected species and products of these species in the Haut Ogooué province, Provincial Director of Forestry , Mr. Lucien Massoukou commissioned a joint task team of DPHO officers, National Police Forces and the NGO Conservation Justice on April 24th, 2014 at the Hotel APILY in Franceville.

Bouanga – Zobi Molongo Augustus, DJOCK Isaac, NDAM Abdou Ramani and MBIDA MFOMO Rose, already involved in other cases of poaching were arrested for possession and distribution of trophies of fully protected species (1 tusk of ivory 2 panther skins).

All defendants were interrogated on April 27th in the premises of the police in Franceville. Just three months after her release from prison where she spent only 10 days for similar causes, MBIDA Rose showsn that she is a  recidivist with no respect for the law. In February, she was sentenced for possession of numerous remains of animals from illegal hunting and a pair of ivory and implicated in another business of selling stolen fuel.

Considering these facts and the little deterrent penalties that followed, one may wonder if Mrs MBIDA does not benefit from some impunity. The prosecutor must redouble efforts and vigilance to ensure the application of the law.

At any time of the year, hunting, taking, possession, transportation and marketing of fully protected species is prohibited. Failure to follow these rules can lead to imprisonment up to six months and fines of up to ten million FCFA.