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Libreville
vendredi, 14 juin 2024

Criminal hearing opens into cases of international ivory trafficking from Gabon to Cameroon.

Libreville, 27 May 2024. Ten months ago, several suspected international ivory traffickers were arrested in Lambaréné and Makokou by the provincial branches of the Judicial Police, the relevant provincial Water and Forestry Departments and the Anti-Poaching Department, with the support of the NGO Conservation Justice. NGANGNI IBRAHIM Gaël, EVOUNA Guy Bertrand, TONGA ASSOUMAN and seven of their alleged accomplices were arrested as the main instigators of this international network.

The case took an international twist with the arrest in Nigeria of Mr MOHAMADOU Ibrahim, the alleged mastermind of this ivory trafficking network between Gabon, Cameroon and Nigeria. The first hearing in this case will be held at the Libreville Special Court on 31 May 2024.
Two major events have reshuffled the cards in this affair. On the one hand, the arrest in February 2024 of the notorious ivory trafficker MOHAMADOU Ibrahim by Nigerian customs, presented as the main mastermind of this network of ivory traffickers operating between Gabon, Cameroon and Nigeria for several years. Secondly, on 31 May 2024, the Libreville Special Court will hold a criminal hearing to decide the fate of NGANGNI IBRAHIM Gaël, EVOUNA Guy Bertrand, TONGA ASSOUMAN and their alleged accomplices.

MOHAMADOU Ibrahim has already been arrested in Cameroon in 2020 with more than 600 kilograms of ivory, most of it from Gabon. His 4-month prison sentence in Cameroon did not prevent him from reoffending. He was denounced by the traffickers arrested in Gabon in August 2023 and arrested again in Nigeria in 2024! It should be pointed out that some of the ivory seized in Cameroon in 2020 was old seized ivory from the Libreville court, which shows the implications and complicity that can exist.

The case, which will go to court in Libreville, dates back to August 2023 when, in Lambaréné and Makokou, the provincial branches of the Judicial Police, the provincial Water and Forestry Directorate and the Anti-Poaching Directorate of the Moyen-Ogooué and Ogooué-Ivindo provinces, supported by the NGO Conservation Justice, seized Sieurs NGANGNI IBRAHIM Gaël, EVOUNA Guy Bertrand (already arrested in the past for ivory trafficking), MPIZELOUBE Fabrice, ABENE NDOUME Patrice, TONGA ASOUMAN (already arrested in the past for ivory trafficking), TONGA ASOUMAN (already arrested in the past for ivory trafficking), TONGA ASOUMAN (already arrested in the past for ivory trafficking) and TONGA ASOUMAN, EVOUNA Guy Bertrand (already arrested in the past for ivory trafficking), MPIZELOUBE Fabrice, ABENE NDOUME Patrice, TONGA ASOUMAN (already arrested in the past for ivory trafficking) and ZOULAOUBE, IVARY Thierry, SANDOU Guy-Roger and ANDELE Romaric, all suspected of belonging at different levels to this well-organised international ivory trafficking network operating between Gabon, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Caught red-handed in the possession and illegal transport of 21 elephant tusks and 4 pieces of ivory weighing a total of 131 kilograms, as well as ammunition, these major traffickers and poachers played an active role in the collection, sale, intermediation and poaching of elephants in Gabon. In addition to the provinces of Moyen-Ogooué and Ogooué Ivindo, the provinces of Nyanga, Ngounié, Haut-Ogooué, Woleu-Ntem and Estuaire were also involved. In short, this international network operated throughout most of Gabon.
In Nigeria, MOHAMADOU Ibrahim was arrested in MFUM by Nigerian customs.

The suspect was arrested in possession of fifty-two ivory tusks weighing nearly 200 kilograms, a pistol and live ammunition. He is suspected of being the leader of a network of ivory traffickers operating between Gabon, Cameroon and Nigeria, who are due to go on trial in Libreville on 31 May. However, MOHAMADOU Ibrahim is due to be tried in Nigeria, where he was arrested in another case, and it is to be hoped that the Nigerian judicial authorities will be stricter than those in Cameroon, imposing more dissuasive sentences, as is generally the case in Gabon.

In accordance with the legal provisions in force in Gabon, suspected ivory traffickers can be imprisoned for up to 10 years under article 390 of the Penal Code, for holding and attempting to sell ivory without prior authorisation from the Water and Forestry Administration.

These penalties can be doubled under the conditions set out in article 396 of the Gabonese Penal Code if it is proved that the traffickers were indeed part of an organized gang. This appears to be the case here, since several people are regularly involved and the methods used are sophisticated, as evidenced by the transport of ivory using modified vehicles with secret compartments.

The justice systems of Gabon, as well as Cameroon and Nigeria, must put an end to this massacre of elephants and the international trafficking organized by foreigners in collusion with Gabonese nationals. 

Sofia

MEDIAPOSTE
MEDIAPOSTE
MEDIAPOSTE, est un media en ligne, qui traite, analyse et décrypte toute l'actualité du Gabon. Il existe depuis 2017.

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