DNA evidence zeroes in on three African cartels behind ivory trade – GeekWire


Elephant tusks from an ivory seizure in 2015 are laid out in Singapore after they have been sorted into pairs. (Center for Conservation Biology / University of Washington)

DNA evidence and lots of detective work have revealed the networks behind illegal trade in African elephant ivory, centering on three smuggling cartels in Kenya, Uganda and Togo.

The case is laid out in a paper written by a team led by Samuel Wasser, head of the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology, and published today in the open-access journal Science Advances.

Wasser said the findings could figure in a complex case centering on Feisal Mohamed Ali, a reputed ivory kingpin based in Mombasa, Kenya. Feisal was convicted on trafficking charges in 2016 but was set free last month on…

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