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Interpol offers rhino poaching advise to Africa


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African countries need to work concertedly to combat ivory and rhino poaching across the continent because only through exchange of information that the scourge could be eradicated, the International Police Organisation (Interpol) said on Friday.The organisation said fighting wildlife crime is a priority, often occurring hand in hand with other offences like human trafficking and drug smuggling.

In a statement drawing attention to the scourge against which it has promised to assist member countries, Interpol said criminal networks often operate across borders with impunity ad should be reined in before they do more damage.

The illegal ivory trade alone was estimated to be worth up to $10 billion annually, said a statement Friday from the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) which is working with Interpol to assist member countries in Africa to come up with innovative policing strategies to combat environmental crime which Interpol agreed was now one of the most profitable forms of organized crime.

Latest figures from South Africa’s Environmental Affairs Ministry showed that more than 825 rhinos have been poached since the beginning of the year.

South Africa, however, is not the only African country battling the problem, with the Kenyan authorities agreeing that poaching had reached crisis levels in the East African country.

“Some 190 elephants were killed this year in Kenya. We also lost 35 rhinos to poachers this year. This is a crisis of unmeasured proportions,” Kenya’s Attorney General, Githu Muigai, said in a statement.

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