LATF led a team of five law enforcement officers from three Lusaka Agreement National Bureaus of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to visit China from 19th to 26th April 2014 on a follow-up results of operation cobra II, especially the first ever China-Africa joint sting undercover operation, which arrested three (Chinese nationals) members of a major ivory trafficking syndicate connecting China and Africa. The officers held series of meetings with their counterparts in Shenyang, Beijing and Guangzhou, in which they exchanged intelligence and information on illegal wildlife trafficking and planned for appropriate follow-up actions.
They also discussed possible areas of cooperation in combating transnational wildlife crime and recommended for bilateral memorandum of understandings between China – NIECG and LATF as well as with respective authorities in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda in order to strengthen the cooperation, especially in areas of information sharing and exchange, public awareness, capacity building and training and other area as may be deemed appropriate.
The four countries Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and China had been identified among the eight group of countries identified by CITES as primary source, transit and destination countries affected by illegal trade in ivory. It is therefore worthwhile to strengthen cooperation especially in enforcement actions to reverse the situation.
The visit was financially supported by the government of People’s Republic of China and the Freeland Foundation.