Togo arrests ivory trafficker

2013-08-07 21:02

(Noel Celis, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Togo - A high-profile ivory trafficker whose work activists say has fuelled the slaughter of more than 10 000 elephants dating back to the 1970s has been arrested in Togo, the country's environment minister said Wednesday.

The trafficker, Emile N'Bouke, was found to be in possession of 700kg of ivory at the time of his arrest Tuesday afternoon at his shop in Lome, the capital, Dede Ekoue said.

It was the first arrest of its kind in the small West African nation, which has emerged in recent years as a main transit point for ivory bound for Asia and other markets, said Ofir Drori, founder of the Last Great Ape Organisation that began investigating N'Bouke late last year.

N'Bouke, 58, was known locally as "The Boss" because of his seniority in the country's ivory trade, which was banned globally in 1989.

Speaking to journalists after his arrest, he said he had been trading ivory since 1983 and had managed to obtain and renew a "special permit" despite the ban.

But Ekoue, the environment minister, said this was untrue, and vowed that Togo would crack down on the ivory trade more aggressively from now on.

"This activity can no longer prosper because the Togolese government is committed to discouraging further action from criminals who use our territory as a platform," she said.

Togo is home to West Africa's only natural deep water port, and Drori said the high volume of shipping makes it easier to transport illicit goods such as ivory.

Last month, more than two tons of ivory hidden in a cargo container at the port was seized in Hong Kong. Last December, some 24 tons of ivory sent from Togo was seized in Malaysia.

Drori said the undercover investigation revealed that N'Bouke had been operating since 1976.

He said that like many large-scale traffickers, N'Bouke was not just a buyer, but was also involved in the financing of poaching activities targeting elephants throughout Central Africa.

N'Bouke's activities likely led to the killing of "dozens of thousands" of elephants, he said.

Drori said he suspects N'Bouke had clients in the United States, something he plans to investigate now that N'Bouke is behind bars.

Under the current law, N'Bouke faces a maximum of one year in prison for his involvement in the ivory trade, Drori said. But he added that he would push authorities to prosecute N'Bouke for other crimes such as money laundering that could lead to a longer sentence.

- AP
Read more on:    togo  |  west africa  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.