Notorious Ivory Smuggler Arrested in Togo
Arrested at last!
The Togolese authorities have finally arrested th notorious ivory smuggler Emile N'bouke.
Reports say the West African country was at last apprehended on Friday. He was named "The Boss" and reported to be responsible for the killings of 10,000 elephants for nearly four decades.
Hundreds of kilos of ivory were reportedly found in his shop during the arrest.
N'bouke became wealthy in illegal ivory by utilizing legal ivory trade transactions.
US hails the Arrest of Emile N'bouke
The United States of America hailed the arrest of the notorious wildlife trafficker.
Men with ivory tusks, Dar es Salaam, c. 1900. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
In her press statement in Washington DC, Spokesperson Jen Psaki says the arrest represents an important step in protecting valuable African wildlife and investigating criminal organizations.
"We urge Togolese authorities to conduct a full investigation and hold accountable to the fullest extent of the law those who engaged in the trafficking of ivory." - Ms. Psaki
She stresses that as demonstrated by the Executive Order signed by President Obama on July 1 during his visit to Africa, combating wildlife trafficking is an important priority of the United States.
The US pledges that it will continue to work with partner nations to support efforts to put an end to this illegal activity, which threatens security and the rule of law, undermines conservation efforts, robs local communities of their economic base, and contributes to the emergence and spread of disease.
US Reveals Approaches to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
Noting that wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before, the United States of America revealed its approaches to combat wildlife trafficking.
The black market in wildlife is rivaled in size only by trade in illegal arms and drugs.
Today, ivory sells for nearly $1,000 per pound. Rhino horns are literally worth their weight in gold, $30,000 per pound.
US reports that world is increasingly seeing wildlife trafficking has serious implications for the security and prosperity of people around the world.
Local populations that depend on wildlife, either for tourism or sustenance, are finding it harder and harder to maintain their livelihoods.
Wildlife trafficking is also a national security issue
Wildlife might be targeted and killed across Asia and Africa, but their furs, tusks, bones, and horns are sold all over the world.
Smuggled goods from poached animals find their way to Europe, Australia, China, and the United States.
The United States is the second-largest destination market for illegally trafficked wildlife in the world.
How US addresses this issue
To address the issue of wildlife trafficking, the US government is working with leaders from around the world to develop a global consensus on wildlife protection.
Undersecretaries Bob Hormats and Maria Otero have met with African and Asian leaders to discuss the immediate actions needed to thwart poachers.
In addition, the US is strengthening its ability to engage diplomatically on these and other scientific issues.
US asserts that building scientific partnerships is an important tool in addressing such global challenges.
Secondly, the US is reaching beyond governments to enlist the support of people.
As part of this effort, Under Secretary Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, is spearheading a global outreach campaign which launched December 2012 on Wildlife Conservation Day.
US embassies will use every tool at their disposal to raise awareness about this issue, from honoring local activists, to spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter.
Third, the US is launching new initiatives to strengthen and expand enforcement areas.
USAID has already provided more than $24 million over the past five years on a range of programs that combat wildlife crimes.
In 2011, the USAID launched the ARREST program, which is establishing regional centers of expertise and expanding training programs for law enforcement.
In addition, the US is calling for the creation of a global system of regional wildlife enforcement networks to take advantage of those networks that already are operating.
US announced that the State Department is pledging $100,000 to help get this new global system up and running.
Reports say that an immense, increasingly sophisticated illegal trade in wildlife parts conducted by organized crime, coupled with antiquated enforcement methods, are decimating the world's most beloved species including rhinos, tigers, and elephants on a scale never before seen.
Much of the trade is reportedly driven by wealthy East Asian markets that have a seemingly insatiable appetite for wildlife parts.
Organized crime syndicates using sophisticated smuggling operations have penetrated even previously secure wildlife populations. Some of the elaborate methods include: hidden compartments in shipping containers; rapidly changing of smuggling routes; and the use of e-commerce whose locations are difficult to detect.
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.
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