Illegal Ivory Smuggling In CAR

Illegal Ivory Smuggling In CAR


On June 3, a man was arrested at the Bangui Mpoko Airport in the Central African Republic (CAR) for illegal transport of ivory. This is the second case of ivory smuggling in Bangui in the span of just one week.

The arrested man is a Central African Citizen who didn’t have any identity document with him despite his intention to travel abroad.

The police confiscated several suitcases filled to the brim with ivory from this Central African citizen.

After being interrogated by the airport police officers, the man admitted to having wanted to transport the ivory out of CAR, which constitutes a serious offense.

It is worth noting that the man in question wasn’t violating the law for his own lucrative benefits: he was acting on behalf of his friends.

Upon interrogation by the police he had this to say: “I have a friend Rafio who worked with the Indonesian contingent of MINUSCA. I saw him buying ivory. I served as interpreter between my Indonesian friend and an ivory seller who only spoke Sango. When the Indonesian returned to his country  he sent  money to me to buy him ivory because I wanted to travel to Indonesia, too.  When I arrived at the airport, I was arrested for lack of documents. Now I am in the hands of the police”.

Ivory is a precious material that is oftentimes smuggled to be sold illegally for large sums of money. Its production and sale were officially banned across the world in 1989.

Despite the ban, ivory still remains one of the most widespread objects of illicit trafficking.

It is of particular importance that this isn’t a stand-alone case of ivory smuggling some international organizations.Just last week, another employee of an international organization deployed within the very same Indonesian contingent, was also detained at Bangui Mpoko Airport for illicit transport of ivory.
Two suitcases loaded with ivory were confiscated upon his arrest.

The two strikingly similar smuggling cases have caught attention of the local law enforcement authorities and are currently being closely investigated.

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