Elephants In The Dust

Looking at seizures of 800 kg or more that were made in 2009, 2010 and 2011, there were 8, 9 and 17 such seizures, respectively, in those years, totaling nearly 61 tonnes of ivory. The increasing pattern of large movements of ivory represents the involvement of international criminal syndicates in the trade operating through sophisticated networks that link Africa with Asia. To address this growing trend, increased law enforcement efforts and internation- al cooperation is a prerequisite. For this reason, investigation of large-scale ivory seizures should be recognized as the single most important ivory trade crime for urgent follow-up attention. Unfortunately, it is rare for investigations following large-scale ivory seizures to be made, and when they are, they are generally ineffective. As a result the entire crime chain is rarely addressed and arrests, prosecutions and convictions of the criminals in- volved rarely happen. The entire enforcement chain must work together. There is a need for better communication, collabora- tion and coordination on these cases at the national and interna- tional levels. Using controlled delivery techniques and wildlife forensic technology, as well as the prompt exchange of relevant information to facilitate investigations in all implicated coun- tries is of paramount importance. This should be followed by successful prosecutions and effective deterrent penalties. The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (IC- CWC) can play an important role in this regard. ICCWC brings together the intergovernmental bodies that have a mandate from their member States to engage in or support wildlife law enforcement, to ensure a well coordinated law enforcement re- sponse to combat illegal wildlife trade. Each ICWWC partner agency bring its unique skills and resources to the Consortium and deals with a different part of the system, which all need to work together to secure successful enforcement action. Un- less a mechanism for broad collaboration is funded and imple- mented, the illegal trade in ivory will continue, resulting in the subsequent local eradications of elephants in parts of Africa. Departure points and destinations The two countries most heavily implicated as destinations for illicit trade in ivory are China and Thailand. In terms of trade routes and transit countries or territories through which large quantities of ivory are flowing from Africa to Asian consumers, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam are the paramount countries and territories of concern. Moving to source countries and exit points for large amounts of ivory leaving

Figure 13: Large-scale ivory shipments originating from Africa have almost exclusively been seized in containers at major ports in Asia, where there is an established customs inspection sys- tems. Shipments have mainly originated from not only Dar es Salaam or Mombasa, but also West Africa.


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