On Tuesday 8th July, we had a successful operation against an ape dealer in a town called Nkoteng. Josias was in charge of this from LAGA, the man at the last moment refused to move the chimp he was trying to sell and became suddenly suspicious. Our surveillance on him allowed us to arrest him in another location. The chimp, around three years old is well. We do not know yet which shelter will provide life time care to this chimp.
The team stayed the next day as it was not clear if the judiciary will take this case seriously. The court’s first reaction was that this case should be “settled” out of court. but after a long day of arguments, phone calls, and as the case was already announced on national radio by our Vincent – we just got the decision of the court to keep the man locked up till the next hearing in August.
We also had another battle in court against two lawyers that tried to get the internet dealer released on bail. This also ended in success as Alain just got their demand rejected by the judge, the internet dealer stays behind bars as well.
Barrister Mbuan managed to block attempts of a dealer to convince the judge he just shot endangered animals by mistake. He crossed examined him proving his bad faith. Mbuan arrived here early morning afte a long ride, he has gone back to see his wife after spending some time with us sharing his hard week.
On 9th July, Josias, who moved over right from one part of the country to the other by train already managed to pull another operation with another investigator. He just managed to get arrested a skin dealer caught with 4 skins of protected species including leopards. he is struggling to insure the dealer ends behind bars.
Horline will move this week to the Standing Committee of CITES as long as she gets her visa on time. She is trying to organize a side event on the illegal trade in great apes now.
On 6th July, the lawyer who has become a part of the LAGA family had a traumatic event. His wife was rushed into a Cesarean surgery. In Cameroon this can be very risky, and many of us held our breath and talked with him on the phone through this experience. In the end his family is safe, his wife is safe a new child is born.