In Ivory Coast, officers stated the six suspects who have been arrested had been working a syndicate in numerous African and Asian nations for years. The suspects weren’t recognized. The top of the legal group in Ivory Coast has ties to 2 ivory seizures in Vietnam and Cambodia, in response to the Eagle Community.
Smugglers in Ivory Coast hid the ivory in hollowed logs full of wax and resealed with glue. The logs have been included in regular shipments and exported in containers to Asia, in line with the Eagle Community. Authorities have found the identical disguise technique in seizures in Kenya and Mozambique.
The Ivorian investigation discovered calls from the arrested suspects to recognized tax-haven nations — Switzerland, Turks and Caicos, and Saint Kitts and Nevis — prompting officers to suspect cash laundering and “hints on the degree of group within the syndicate’s operations,” the Eagle Community stated in a information launch concerning the sting.
The group stated the individuals arrested may additionally have been concerned in human trafficking. One of many suspects was discovered with pages itemizing the identities of younger Ivorian ladies, their pictures, peak and weight and whether or not they had been subjected to genital slicing.
The Ivorian authorities has carried out different operations towards wildlife traffickers in previous months. Final yr officers seized greater than 200 kilos of ivory and three tons of pangolin scales, from an estimated four,000 pangolins. Moreover they discovered lots of of carved items of ivory, fifty three elephant tails, seven leopard skins and different animal elements.
China, one of many largest markets for ivory, implement a ban on the sale of commercial ivory on the finish of final yr.
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