Environment & Climate ChangeNews

Gabon: Retired Gendarme, Student, One Other Arrested For Illegal Ivory Trade

A retired gendarme, a student and one other person were arrested for illegally attempting to sell elephant tusks on Thursday October 15, 2020. 

The elephant tusk traffickers, Arnaud Ulrich Mounanga, Kevin Jhon Rashidi Nzigou Ndinga who is a student and Jean Luc Nzissila, a retired gendarme, were arrested in Mouila by agents of the judicial police and staff of the provincial directorate of the Ministry of Water and Forestry, assisted by operatives of the non-governmental organization (NGO), Conservation Justice.

The traffickers were arrested following an anonymous tip-off that the three were negotiating to sell four elephant tusks to dealers in ivory.

On arrival at the scene where the transaction was to be consumed in Mouila at 8 a.m., the combined judicial police, water and forestry agents and Conservation Justice team saw a vehicle arrive with a man on board carrying a sac containing the four tusks. 

The man who was later identified as Arnaud Ulrich Mounanga was promptly arrested in possession of four elephant tusks which were immediately seized by the officials.

After serious interrogation, Arnaud Ulrich Mounanga confessed that he was merely a middle man revealing that the real owners of the tusks were Kevin Jhon Rashidi Nzigou Ndinga, a student resident in the town and Jean Luc Nzissila, a retired gendarme. 

The student and the retired gendarme were said to own two of the tusks each.

Following the confession of Arnaud Ulrich Mounanga, the team of officials followed him to the residence of the retired gendarme where a search led to the discovery of a hunting rifle with which the elephants from which the tusks were harvested were killed.

A police source told HumAngle yesterday that the three who are currently being held by the police would eventually be tried for elephant poaching, possession and attempting to sell ivory in the Court of First Instance in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. 

They both risk imprisonment of up to ten years each if found guilty.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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