1st Semester Report 2006
Very good progress was made over this period on all aspects of LAGA’s work, with tangible achievements not only in the fields of investigation, arrest and prosecution but also in media exposure, government relations and international activities.
- A total of 107 investigation missions (of varying lengths) were conducted in this period in 9 provinces.
- In January, following the appointment of a head of investigations unit, new planning and reporting structures were implemented.
- Operations were carried out in 8 provinces resulting in 24 court cases.
- The rate of imprisonment for these cases rose to 88%.
- 24 new cases were brought to court and represented (many of the cases begun during the period have not yet reached this stage but are still ongoing).
- A programme was developed and initiated to make the legal representation of wildlife cases by the Ministry financially sustainable without external assistance.
- In February record damages of US$4,445 were awarded for a wildlife case.
- A total of 170 media pieces were produced in national media (television, radio and press).
- Wildlife Justice Magazine – a bilingual, bi-monthly journal of stories about the progress of wildlife law enforcement in Cameroon – was launched in March 2006, with 1,000 copies printed and distributed
- Over the course of this period, three live chimpanzees were confiscated from known dealers and re-homed to PASA sanctuaries in Cameroon.
- Operations were conducted exposing the international ivory trade with Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Guinea, and the Far East.
- Chinese links to international trade were identified and one Chinese national was arrested in a raid on an ivory workshop.
- Two operations were conducted involving the illegal trade in lion skins.
- Other investigations and operations involved drug smuggling (in conjunction with live ape trading) and the murder of an eco-guard.
- In March 2006 an MoU was signed with the government of Cameroon defining LAGA’s law enforcement mandate and certifying their ongoing relationship.