By Mustapha Darboe
Malawi police have arrested a 34-year old Gambian man at the Kamuzu Banda International Airport (KIA) for alleged connection to the seized 330 kg of ivory in Thailand in March this year.
According to the Herald Post of Malawi, the suspect Madi Conteh, is the seventh person to be arrested in connection with the matter as he was also on the Interpol Red Notice List for crimes against the environment.
Unnamed sources familiar with the illegal trade told local papers in Malawi that the ivory in question is equivalent to tusks from over 200 elephants.
The suspect had been shipping the ivory on an Ethiopian Airways flight from KIA, Lilongwe, via Addis Ababa to Bangkok and was later arrested by Thai authorities as he went to collect the packages.
This is the second time this year a Gambian has been arrested for alleged involvement in the Ivory trade.
On 7 March, Associated Press reported an arrest in Thailand of another 41-year-old Gambian, Sainey Jagne, for attempted smuggling of 422 pieces of elephant tusks.
The cut-up tusks were reportedly hidden in a shipment listed as unprocessed gemstones. Jagne was charged with violating customs and wildlife protection laws in Thailand.