Suspected traffickers have been arrested in Ntui in the Center region, in possession of a total of 91 kg of pangolin scales from two separate operations.
The Mbam and Kim Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, in collaboration with the police, carried out a crackdown operation that led to the arrest of three traffickers.
Two separate arrests led to the confiscation of 91 kg of pangolin scales. Two of the traffickers were arrested with 70 kg of giant pangolin scales in a grain bag as they attempted to sell the scales. Shortly after their arrest, a third trafficker was arrested at the bus station with close to 21kg of pangolin scales concealed in a flour bag.
The traffickers were later presented to the state counsel in Ntui where the arrests took place. They were charged with illegal possession of protected wildlife species, and they shall stand trial in court. LAGA, a wildlife enforcement body technically assisted in the operation.
Sources close to the case say most of the scales were from giant pangolins and were collected from small poachers in Yoko and its environs.
Trafficking in pangolin scales is recurrent in this area of the country. Last month, two traffickers were arrested with 47 kg of pangolin scales in Nkoteng. The trafficking of mammals for their meat, skin, scales, and claws is decimating their population.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of
threatened species; the three pangolin species found in the country are all vulnerable. There is, therefore, a high need to curb the trade in pangolins in order to save the animals.
The 1994 wildlife law strictly prohibits the trade in pangolins and provides punishment for
anyone who breaks the law.