Cotonou, September 2014
Three important ivory traffickers arrested in Benin
Conservation Justice from Gabon is supporting Nature Tropicale NGO - an Ecosystem Alliance partner in Benin (www.naturetropicale.org) to enroll a law enforcement project with Benin authorities. After investigations and collaboration with Police (Interpol) and Forestry officials in Benin, three ivory traffickers were arrested with 30 kg of ivory. Their original stock was 300 kg but the arrets team was not able to localize it. The traffickers are part of the largest ivory network in West Africa, operating from Dakar to Brazzaville, and having their 'head quater' in Lagos, Nigeria. The traded ivory comes mainly from Gabon as explained by the traffickers arrested and confirmed by previous DNA analysis from ivory seized in Lome, Togo. The public prosecutor in Cotonou has sent the three traffickers to jail and they will be judged end of October. Authorities have been very cooperative and it is hoped that this is the beginning of an efficient collaboration between NGOs and Government. The event has been diffused in all main radio, television and press.