Traffickers suffer as wildlife crime enforcement begins to bite in Central African Republic
In the most recent case, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Bangui (Central African Republic, CAR) recently sentenced a wildlife trafficker to six months in jail and a CFA50,000 (approx. $ US 100) fine.
The trafficker had been arrested last February when he was trying to sell a panther skin.
The operation was the result of a close collaboration between CARs Ministery of Water and Forests and the Central Police, with technical support from WWFs RALF project (RALF is the French acronym for Strengthening of the Wildlife Law Enforcement).
RALF, was established in 2009 with the aim of boosting meaningful wildlife law enforcement activities and judiciary follow-up of wildlife crimes in the Central African Republic, targeting mainly high-level wildlife traffickers.
At the end of last year, the same court had sentenced another wildlife trafficker to three months in jail and and a CFA50,000 fine. He had been found guilty of smuggling baby crocodiles.
WWF welcomes the fact that within three months, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Bangui has given a clear warning to wildlife traffickers, said Josias Sipehouo, legal expert and coordinator of RALF project.
WWF also praises the action of the Ministry of Water and Forests, the Ministry of Public Order and Security and the Ministry of Justice, whose efforts are contributing to the wildlife law enforcement.
Josias Sipehouo, Coordinator of RALF project, LAGA-CAMEROON, t: +236 75 15 15 74