August 20, 2005

Congo Republic police seize 253 kg smuggled ivory

BRAZZAVILLE (Reuters) - Police in Congo Republic seized 253
kg (557 lb) of elephant tusks that poachers were trying to
smuggle out of the country by air, police said on Saturday.

Police discovered the haul consisting of 66 pieces of ivory
at the Maya-Maya international airport in the capital
Brazzaville on Friday, saying it was probably destined to be
smuggled out of West Africa via Ivory Coast's main city

"We have caught the forwarding agent, and the investigation
in progress will allow us to find the destination," the head of
airport security, Maxime Dikele, told reporters.

Elephants are protected by law in Congo Republic, where
poachers hunt the animals for their tusks.