Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, October 29, 2015.
The law enforcement body responsible for the arrest of the “Queen of Ivory” earlier this month has officially arrested notorious elephant poacher Boniface Matthew Mariango, referred to by law enforcement officials as “Shetani” or “The Devil,” after a manhunt that lasted for over one year.
“Shetani” was arrested by the National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) Task Force on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is Tanzania’s “Most Wanted” elephant poacher and ivory trafficker and directly responsible for the killing of thousands of elephants over the past years.
Considered by NTSCIU to be the most prolific elephant poacher and ivory trafficker in East Africa, Mariango, 45, has managed over 15 poaching syndicates that have been operating throughout Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Mozambique and southern Kenya with impunity for years.
A senior government official describes the arrest as a major breakthrough in the fight against poaching syndicates in his country: “After the arrest of the “Ivory Queen”, “Shetani” became enemy number one. We have been hunting 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. The evidence we have against “Shetani” is crushing. He is the major supplier of weapons, ammunition and cars to poaching syndicates operating across the country and beyond.”
He continues, “And he is the ringleader of a poaching network directly supplying the “Queen of Ivory” (Yang Fenglan), who was arrested earlier this month, 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.”