Significant progress was made over this period on some aspects of LAGA’s collaboration with MINFOF, with tangible achievements not only in the fields of investigation, arrest and prosecution but also in media exposure, government relations and international activities with more focus on the fight against corruption, wildlife trade and the logging industry, and Internet wildlife trade.
During this period, 12 cases were prosecuted with 15 dealers convicted and a record total of about $142,000 to be paid as damages; 2 ivory dealers involved in 1 ton ivory trafficking sentenced to 1 year imprisonment and to pay a record sum of over $116,500 as damages. For every 9.05 days a major wildlife dealer was arrested, 80% stayed behind bars from the day of arrest. This period saw the seizure of more than 1500 African Grey parrots with 3 Ghanaians arrested, LAGA’s intervention in hitting main actors and exposing the illegal trade in sea turtle shells, primates, arrest of cyber wildlife dealers, and some illegal wildlife trade networks busted. Follow-up of replication activities continued in the Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. In CAR, 8 dealers were arrested, 5 of whom (62%) were dealing in primates especially life chimps. The fight against corruption resulted in the early retirement of a senior government official involved in wildlife crime, who admitted to be involved in dealing in elephant products last year.