It is party time for Africa elephants, following the sentencing of Boniface Matthew Mariango referred to by law enforcement officials as “Shetani” or “The Devil,” to 13 years of imprisonment and 3 of his vehicles impounded.
Mariango was arrested by the National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) Task Force on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after hunt for him since June of 2014.
“He has evaded arrest again and again, slipping away at least seven times, but this time we caught him, in a wild manhunt after informers reported his whereabouts in the outskirts of Dar.” NTSCIU said.
Regarded as Tanzania’s “Most Wanted” elephant poacher and ivory trafficker and directly responsible for the killing of thousands of elephants over the past years, the judgement coincided with World Wildlife Day, celebration.
PAMS Foundation, a conservation support center in Tanzania for elephants and other wildlife, celebrated the sentence as a major breakthrough in the fight against poaching syndicates in his country.
“Shetani” is the ringleader of a poaching network directly supplying the “Queen of Ivory” (Yang Fenglan), who was arrested in 2015, with elephant tusks from all across our nation.”
But this fight is far from over. With both of them now in custody we will be able, for the first time, to truly crack down on the international networks involved in the illegal trafficking of ivory.” “ we can finally say that there is hope. “Let’s keep fighting”. the statement posted reads.
Also Elephant Action League (EAL) a US-based, independent, non-profit organization with the stated mission to fight wildlife crime praised the effort of the Tanzania government for bringing to justice, crime committed to wildlife survival.
According to Mr Andrea Crosta, co-founder of the Elephant Action League, African elephant poaching threatens wildlife future, and elephants like every other wild animal will soon disappear altogether if more efforts is not taken to stop the trade.
It will be recalled that, China the large importer of ivory, in December last year, ban the importation of elephant. China’s announcement follows an announced temporary ban mirrors the United States’ enactment of a similar near-complete ivory ban which experts believe, if successfully enforced could help elephant killing drop enough to allow beleaguered elephant populations to begin recovering.