Cameroun24: Cameroon - Environment. Bertoua : 144 pieces of ivory seized
"This was an extraordinary haul by the customs office of the Eastern region," said Gregory Mvongo, the Governor of the region, who came to gauge the size of the booty heaped in the yard of the Hotel des Finances in Bertoua on Monday, 13 March 2017. Two days earlier, in the evening, acting on a tip-off, agents of Célestin Bidjé, the Customs sector chief, had given chase to an ordinary-looking vehicle, a bush taxi which had just refueled. The car led them to the Djamena district of Bertoua where they found another vehicle parked and ready to leave.
The car’s occupants were arrested and a thorough search revealed 176 pieces of ivory which had been concealed in various specially designed parts of the vehicle’s body, in a scene reminiscent of portrayals in Mafia thrillers. "In all, 144 pieces of ivory were put back together, 14 arranged in pairs and one stand-alone piece, putting the minimum number of elephants slaughtered at 80, enough to make up to four or five herds of elephant", explained Eitel Pandong, the regional delegate for the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in the Eastern region.