LATF supports Kenya to repatriate over 1.8 tonnes of contraband ivory.


LATF, AVA and Kenya officials verifying the ivory

A joint investigation team of four officers from the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Kenya Police visited Singapore from 20th to 27th July 2013 with financial support of the FREELAND Foundation. The team worked with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore to collect more documentary evidence and repatriate a total of 1099 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 1848.5kg to Kenya for law enforcement purposes. An officer from FREELAND Foundation also joined the team during the exercise. The repatriation is being carried out in compliance with the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and is the second repatriation coordinated by LATF after the 6.5 tonnes of ivory from Singapore in 2004.

The contraband ivory was seized by AVA and Singapore customs on 23rd January 2013 while transiting from Kenya to Vietnam and disguised as “waste paper”. The seizure was part of the outcomes of a global operation codenamed “COBRA” undertaken in January-February 2013 which targeted illegally traded specimens of elephant, rhino and big cats in Africa and Asia.

This is a demonstration of LATF‘s integral role played in fostering continued collaborative effort among origin, transit and destination countries towards curtailing illegal trade in ivory. It also sends a strong message to wildlife traffickers that law enforcement agencies globally are determined to stem transnational wildlife crime.


LATF, Kenya and AVA officials

Transnational elephant ivory trafficking is escalating to alarming levels and the negative impact to the survival of the species in all range states is causing grave concern. LATF being a regional wildlife law enforcement organization in Africa continues to forge and maintain effective partnerships as it calls for more collaboration among national, regional and international organizations to combat wildlife crime. In the same vein, LATF seeks the support of international partners to mobilize sufficient financial resources towards reversing the alarming trends in wildlife trafficking across the continent.

LATF thanks the Government of Singapore for the cooperation and continued support.

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