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US bans three DRC officials from entering country for smuggling protected animals

US bans three DRC officials from entering country for smuggling protected animals

Madrid, 17 August. (Europe Press) –

The US State Department on Wednesday banned several officials from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from entering the country for their involvement in smuggling protected animals in exchange for bribes.

“Public officials responsible for wildlife protection abused their public positions by using fake permits in exchange for bribes to smuggle chimpanzees, gorillas, okapis and other protected wild animals from the DRC, mainly to the PRC.” , a statement said. from the department.

“Their corruption and transnational criminal activities have not only undermined the rule of law and government transparency in the DRC, but also undermined long-standing wildlife conservation efforts,” the letter continued.

The State Department affirmed that these sanctions demonstrate the United States’ commitment to disrupting the wildlife trade and promoting accountability among officials and criminals.

These officials are the former Director-General of the Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature (ICCN), Willungula Palongelwa, the Director of ICCN, Leonard Mumba Ganda, and the Director-Coordinator of the Executive Commission for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Agustin Numbi Amuri, Legal Adviser of the DRC’s Conservation of Fauna and Flora Sylvestres (CITES) species and ICCN.

In addition, US authorities have extended this entry ban to Ganda’s wife, Rose Nsele Ngokali, and Willungula’s wife, Esther Mwanga Willungula.

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