Illegal smuggling of ivory in a car
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Illegal smuggling of ivory in a car


On June 3, a man was arrested at Bangui Mpoko airport in the Central African Republic (CAR) on suspicion of illegally transporting ivory. This is the second case of ivory smuggling in Bangui in just a week.

The detained man is a Central African citizen who, despite his intention to travel abroad, did not have any identification document with him.

Police confiscated several suitcases filled to the brim with ivory from this Central African citizen.

After being questioned by police officers at the airport, the man admitted that he wanted to take ivory out of the Central African Republic, which is a serious crime.

It is worth noting that the man in question did not break the law for his own gain: he acted on behalf of his friends.

When questioned by police, he said: “I have a friend Rafio who worked for the Indonesian contingent of MINUSCA. I saw him buying ivory. I served as a translator between my Indonesian friend and the ivory seller who only spoke Sango. When the Indonesian returned to his country, he sent me money to buy him ivory because I also wanted to go to Indonesia. When I arrived at the airport, I was arrested for having no documents. Now I am in the hands of the police.”

Ivory is a valuable material that is often smuggled in to be sold illegally for large sums of money. Its production and sale were officially banned worldwide in 1989.

Despite the ban, ivory remains one of the most widespread illegal trade items.

It is particularly important that this is not an isolated case of ivory smuggling by some international organizations. Just last week, another international organization employee deployed as part of the same Indonesian contingent was also detained at Bangui Mpoko airport in connection with the illegal shipment of ivory.
After his arrest, two suitcases filled with ivory were confiscated.

Two strikingly similar smuggling cases have attracted the attention of local law enforcement and are currently being thoroughly investigated.