An ivory dealer intercepted in Ntoum

by Luc Mathot
An ivory dealer intercepted in Ntoum
Le contrebandier d’ivoire au moment de son arrestation. © Conservation Justice
Mr Bondouaboka Kevin (C) arrested by the railway police and apprehended by the judicial police in Libreville. © Conservation Justice

An ivory trafficker posing as a prospector, from Lastourville was arrested in possession of four tusks of ivory cut into 10 pieces (13.5 kilos). Bondouaboka Kevin, a Gabonese national claimed to have found two elephant carcasses in the forest with his friends.

Le butin intercepté. © Conservation Justice
The ivory seized. © Conservation Justice

Railway Police officers were alerted on the train by the strong smell that emanated from the bag and during a stop at the station in Ntoum they inspected the bag. Feeling caught, the alleged trafficker then tried to flee but was caught by agents.

Once in Libreville, the defendant was placed in custody. This case shows once again that Libreville is an important transit point for wildlife products, the railway police says that this is not their first arrest of its kind. Generally, ivory is then exported to countries of transit as Togo, Benin, Cameroon and Nigeria and finally found in Asia. Thus tons of ivory from Gabon are entered in these countries each year.

The NGO Conservation Justice was alerted by officials of the Railway Police who had attended a training session on wildlife law recently held in Franceville in collaboration with the Provincial Directorate of Water and Forests of the Haut Ogooué. The PDWF of the Estuary is responsible for monitoring the process in collaboration with the Judicial Police.

At any time of the year, hunting, taking, possession, transportation and marketing of fully protected species is prohibited. Failure to follow these rules may result in imprisonment of up to six months in prison and fines of up to ten million FCFA, the penalty is doubled in case of recidivism or escaping, as was the case here.