Botswana ivory traffickers’ Kenyan raid

An International police operation has led to the capture of the twin brothers behind an international gang trafficking thousands of pounds worth of ivory from Botswana and Cameroon. The US-led operation began in October…

Botswana ivory traffickers' Kenyan raid

An International police operation has led to the capture of the twin brothers behind an international gang trafficking thousands of pounds worth of ivory from Botswana and Cameroon.

The US-led operation began in October and led to the arrest of Boniface and Emery Nyirongo in Mombasa, Kenya.

They were among 17 people arrested and 27 arrests made in Cameroon and Botswana after a year-long investigation led by the FBI.

Elephant tusks were recovered from a home in Mombasa, investigators say.

The twins, age 31, also face narcotics charges in Africa.

They are the alleged masterminds behind an international smuggling ring that smuggled at least 5,000 ivory tusks out of the country since 2015.

Elephant ivory can be sold in Botswana but it can only be legally imported into the country via a special permit.

In Cameroon, not all ivory is legal, and people can only legally export the ivory through airport cargo inspection.

Ivory sellers can’t buy it from the ports, and buyers can’t buy it from anyone without a permit, explained one of the Anti-Criminal Group members, Superintendent Jeramete Mwape.

“Government is cracking down on trafficking in wildlife,” he told us.

In September 2017, Botswana’s Parliament approved a new law that allows for the seizures of illegally exported ivory to be seized by the police and forfeited to the government.

UN Secretary General António Guterres recently called on Governments to take drastic action against illegal wildlife trade in a report titled: “The Economic And Security Consequences Of Illegal Wildlife Trade: The ‘Elephant Crisis’ In The 21st Century”.

It concluded that illegal wildlife trade is also financially detrimental to both States and the private sector, and has a substantial impact on societies around the world.

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