For years we have been fighting against an ivory crisis that has devastated Africa’s elephant population. Today that fight just took an incredible turn for the better, with a landmark legal victory against long-time ivory trafficker, Feisal Mohammed.
In December of 2014, Interpol arrested Mohammad in Tanzania for being in possession of a stash of ivory worth about Sh44million—approximately $430,000 U.S. dollars. Since then, Elephant Crisis Fund grantee WildlifeDirect has taken an especially active role in the case, diligently and tirelessly monitoring it in court, keeping it in the public eye, and ensuring it followed all due process, despite facing intimidation tactics. Today, that difficult work has paid off; a Mombasa court has found Mohammed guilty and sentenced him to 20 years in jail. This outcome is truly a game-changer for securing a better future for elephants, and a remarkable accomplishment for WildlifeDirect and many other actors in Kenya, including Save the Elephants, who have directly and indirectly supported the prosecution and rightful conviction of Feisal Mohammad.
It is incredibly heartening and encouraging to see justice done. A 20-year sentence undeniably has teeth and will do a lot to deter others from seeking to profit from the ivory industry. It is a clear and impactful warning that ivory trafficking will not be tolerated; no matter your wealth or status, if you deal in ivory there will be severe consequences.
With continued support from the Elephant Crisis Fund, organizations like WildlifeDirect can continue making a huge impact on the ground, and effective and collaborative projects across Africa will be able to strengthen wildlife crime monitoring and anti-trafficking projects. Together, we are building a future where ivory traffickers are arrested, convicted, and remain behind bars while elephants roam free across Africa.