Officials of the International Criminal police (Interpol) last Friday February 21 2014 re-arrested one of most notorious animal traffickers who managed to escape from prison with the complicity of a Guinea Conakry Justice official.
GALF, the Guinea Conakry branch of WARA Conservation, a french wildlife protection organization provided information that led to the arrest of the fugitive from Justice in the Ratoma district of Conakry where he was hiding.
Diallo was halfway through a one year sentense when he managed to escape after interim state prosecutor in Guinea Sékouba Condé ordered his release. Judicial authorities in Guinea denied having any knowledge about Diallo’s release and qualified the actions of Mr Conde as illegal.
In January this year, officials of the GALF headed by French activist Charlotte Houpline visited the Conakry main prison only to realize he had fled with the complicity of Mr Conde. When Diallo failed to turn up for his appeal hearings on February 10 and 18 2014, the court issued a warrant for his arrest.
« Despite protesting to his superiors including to the ministry of Justice and the state prosecutor, as far as we know, no sanctions have been taken against Mr Conde » according o Charlotte Houpline, Coordinator of GALF.
Diallo was sentenced to a year in prison in July 2013 following an 18 month meticulous investigation by GALF. During the investigations, he boasted on video that he had trafficked more than 500 chimpanzees, a live lion and panthers.
This will make him one of the most prolific wildlife criminals in Africa. Judge Madadouba Sow last July gave Diallo the maximum one year prison term allowed under Guinean law and a fine of US$ 7.000 following his conviction. During a second trial, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment and ordered o pay a fine of $US 18.000. His lawyers appealed against the sentence and though his appeal case was scheduled for February, he failed to appear in court. It took the combined efforts of Interpol and GALF to track and arrest him. Diallo is scheduled to appear in court for his appeal next Monday March 7 2014
Guinea Conakry was banned from exporting any protected animals hat appear on a CITES list, a UN convention that protects endangered animals after the delivery of fraudulent licences that led to the exportation of more than 130 Chimpanzees and 10 gorillas to China.
Charlote Houpline said she created GALF following inspiration from Israeli born activist Ofir Drori who first started a similar rights organization in Cameroon known as The Last Great Ape Organization.
The model has now been replicated in a number of African countries including Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea, Togo, Senegal and Central African Republic.
Ofir Drori is presently recovery in hospital in Israel following a crocodile attack in Ethiopia recently.
Interview of Charlotte Houpline, Passionate French activist