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Senegal arrests three men for trafficking hundreds of animal skins

Dakar (IINA) � A court in Senegal remanded in custody two Senegalese and a Malian nationals on Thursday for involvement in the trade of hundreds of animal skins, including a species of crocodile threatened with extinction, according to the WARA, a non-governmental organization (NGO).

Police seized 91 Nile crocodile skins, 354 African rock python skins and 110 Nile monitor lizard skins among others as part of an operation across the suburbs of the capital Dakar this week. Huge mounds of the skins were then trucked to the police station in central Dakar and piled up on the pavement.

“The skins came from Mali and South Africa and, after transformation, are resold to international tourists,” Cecile Bloch, a coordinator for WARA, told Reuters. “It’s a large trade with a network that has existed for more than 30 years.”

WARA is part of a law-enforcement network of nine African countries called Eco Activists for Governance and Law Enforcement (EAGLE). Supporters of the accused, who are part of the same family, initially violently resisted their arrest, said Bloch who was present, pointing out that the hearing will open in Dakar next week. A fourth man was also arrested for obstructing the police operation and will also appear in court next week alongside the accused, she added.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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