As part of Operation Cobra II, conducted by 28 countries in Asia and Africa to crack down on wildlife crimes from end of 2013 to the beginning of 2014, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) and China NICECG in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) successfully coordinated the first ever China-Africa joint sting intelligence led operation in Nairobi, Kenya. The operation identified and arrested three (Chinese nationals) who were members of a major ivory trafficking syndicate operating between China and Africa.
The arrested ivory smugglers were residing in Nairobi, Kenya and orchestrated the buying and illegally transporting of wildlife products from Africa to China in at least the past three years. They were being sought by Chinese authorities to face charges relating to another Chinese national arrested on arrival in China for smuggling 1,226 pieces of ivory beads from Kenya during November 2013.
Recovered multiple passports
Seized worked ivory and leopard skin
The main suspect, surnamed Xue, was arrested in Nairobi on January 17, 2014, and extradited to China the next day while the two others surnamed Zheng and Li, were netted on January 16 and 17, 2014 when they were entering China from Kenya. At the time of Xue’s arrest elephant ivory, leopards’ skin and multiple passports were recovered in his house.
This collaborative initiative between China and LATF as well as other agencies/partners sends a strong message to all wildlife smugglers worldwide that the law will always catch up with them anywhere they could be involved in wildlife crime. LATF encourages all countries especially law enforcement agencies to promote such measures in line with laid down national and international mechanisms and in close collaboration with international community. LATF remains committed and dedicated in discharging its mandate of fostering states ‘cooperation, interagency collaboration and coordination for the effective conservation and protection of our much treasured wild fauna and flora resources for sustainable development in Africa and globally.