Elephant tusks seized in Chad and six suspected poachers arrested
Elephants face threats from poachers on a daily basis. In August alone, nine elephants were killed in the Binder reserve in the Lac Léré division, south of the country.
It took a lot of work for the forest service to close the net on the suspected poachers. On 6 August, an anti-poaching patrol had had a run-in with the suspected poachers in the Binder area.
They fled deep into the forest, leaving weapons of war and other equipment in their wake according to a testimony from Colonel Hamit Hissein, Commander of the Forest and Wildlife Guard.
According to him the operation was thorough, and was completed with “no dead or wounded”. “The officers had been mentally and psychologically prepared for the mission”.
Thanks to the local community’s help, the operation was a resounding success. “This practice needs to stop” Colonel Hamit warns.
Anti-poaching officers had changed tack. They posed as civilians in order to nab six people: three suspected poachers and three accomplices.
The poachers are accused of killing 9 elephants. They were found with 17 elephant tusks, two hi-tech weapons, four magazines and 93 boxes of ammunition.
Using phone calls, the unit established contact between an undercover trader and the poachers whom the former had approached by expressing an interest in purchasing elephant tusks. The investigation thus took them to Pala where they were able to “nab these enemies of nature” the lieutenant said.
Explaining how the operation worked, Lieutenant Doba added that the suspected poachers “usually come into the region on horseback” and send someone ahead of them to track the elephants down in the pasturelands. Once the scout has located the animals, the poachers move in to act.
BBC- Elephant tusks seized in Chad
Six accused poachers were arrested in Western Mayo Kebbi in South West Chad. They were carrying elephant tusks and weapons of war at the time of their arrest.
Two weapons of war and ammunition were also seized.
The operation was conducted by the forest and wildlife guard about 450 kilometers south west of the Chadian capital.
Further reading: Can poaching save elephants?
According to the arrested suspects, a kilogram of ivory can fetch up to 35,000CFAF
The authorities are also discussing the dismantling of an ivory trafficking network.
Further reading: Botswana lifts elephant hunting ban
The Chief Prosecutor at the High Court who is handling the case says it is a case of destruction of biodiversity.