2 notorious traffickers arrested with 206 kg of ivory

On December 7, 2015, two notorious ivory traffickers Adamou Ba Mamadou and Adamou Nouhou, Gabonese with Nigerian and Cameroonian origin, were finally arrested by the Wildlife Authorities and the Judicial Police with the support of Conservation Justice, a NGO focusing on law enforcement, a member of the EAGLE Network.

Nouhou, who is an officer of the Department of Waters and Forests has been repeatedly suspected of being involved in the ivory trade but had never been apprehended. Some people, who knew him for a long time, even claim that he was involved in illegal trafficking even before entering the wildlife authority and intended to use his function only to enrich himself illegally. His name had appeared few times in different cases but without sufficient evidence. Now the evidence has been achieved since he was arrested with the record amount of 206 kg of ivory, which represents 21 dead elephants!

According to sources close to the case, Adamou Nouhou has already appeared in several cases in the provinces of Ogooué-Ivindo and Haut-Ogooué particularly. Recently, a device was even set up to try to block his vehicle during transportation of product contraband. The official of the National Agency of National Parks, who several times missed Nouhou closely, explains, that he was even complaining agains the Agency itself, further ridiculing the officers in charge of law enforcement. But this time, the evidence is huge and nothing can stop Justice.

His accomplice arrested with him, Mamadou Bah Adamou, is also a major trafficker. They both were buying ivory throughout the country and exporting it to Cameroon or to West Africa before it ivory reached its final destination in Asia. They are part of an important international trafficking network. And that is how the ivory from Gabon is sometimes seized in large quantities abroad, which influences the reputation of Gabon, although the traffickers are often foreigners who organize this lucrative international trade. In the context of different agreements taken and commitment of Gabon to fight against environmental crime, several measures have already been taken, either on the ivory trade, wood or other natural resources. A strengthening of the legislation and operational framework several years ago should protect the many Gabonese natural resources from exploitation by criminal networks of any type.

Given the importance of the case and the government's desire to erase these phenomena, the Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, Forest and the Sea, Mr Crépin Gwodock, personally visited the Judicial Police to verify the information and encourage investigators to follow the procedures properly. His visit was a sign of good cross-sector collaboration.

Both traffickers will be brought to the justice and will be held responsible for the ivory trafficking and illegal enrichment in front of the court.