One of the biggest ape traffickers in the African continent arrested

Abdourahamane Sidibe, a major wildlife trafficker of Guinean nationality, was arrested on Friday 18th February in Conakry in a special operation by Interpol NCB and the NGO WARA via its EAGLE-Guinea project.

One of the biggest ape traffickers in the African continent, Abdourahamane Sidibe was heading a crime family operating for over 30 years.

Abdouramane Sidibé was condemned in absentia to 5 years in prison at the same time as Ansoumane Doumbouya, the former corrupt CITES chief of Guinea arrested in August 2015 following a WARA – EAGLE  investigation. For years Ansoumane Doumbouya has fraudulently issued CITES permits to Abdouramane Sidibé, facilitating the illegal export of many endangered species including 130 chimpanzees and 10 gorillas that have been illegally exported to China through this corrupt system of the CITES UN Convention permits.

The WARA investigation continued tracking the Sidibe family for five years as it was spread across the continent creating a vast and effective criminal network.  Finally, the team managed to net the father and head of the criminal network. Sidibe the father spent the last year hiding in several African, Arab, and Asian countries.

The arrest of Abduramane Sidibe, one of the most important traffickers of wildlife and great apes in the African continent, is a landmark in the fight against ape trafficking and as more arrests are carried cracking down on this illegal business.

"For a long time, Guinea has been a central junction in the organized illegal trade in apes", says Charlotte Houpline, the head of WARA and EAGLE - Guinea, the group behind the arrest, "for six years now we worked hard with the Guinean authorities to put behind bars the biggest of these traffickers and the highest corrupt officials that help them, cracked down on trafficking criminal families and created deterrent. Still there is much more to be done."