CAMEROUN :: Gendarmes arrest three with full human skeleton :: CAMEROON
Three human parts traffickers were arrested in Foumbot on the 20th of May 2020 during an operation carried out by the Foumbot Gendarmerie brigade. An entire human skeleton with some bits of dried up flesh and hairs were recovered from the traffickers who were just about to sell the human remains. The arrest was the result of an investigation into illegal wildlife trafficking in the region. The operation was carried out with the technical assistance of LAGA, a non-governmental organisation specialised in wildlife law enforcement.
The suspects were arrested at Njindam neighbourhood in possession of a sack containing the human bones. Most notably among the bones was a female head which still had “cornrow” hairstyle on it. According to sources close to the case, the lady died 6 months ago and her corpse was dug out in a locality located some 35 kilometres from Foumbot, where she was buried. The alleged traffickers left Kouoptamo to Foumbot with the human bones to sell and were arrested by gendarmes when they were about carrying out their illegal transaction. They were immediately taken to the gendarmerie brigade of Foumbot. The same sources report that the traffickers wanted to sell the human skeleton for 30 million FCFA. Further investigation by the gendarmerie brigade of Foumbot led to the arrest of a woman who was keeping the skeleton. She was arrested on the 23th of May 2020 at Baigom near Foumbot.
Preliminary investigations show that, it is a network of human bone traffickers. One of the traffickers in the network was a wildlife trafficker who now deals in human bones trafficking. They have contacts mostly in Gabon and operate under a network. Some would dig out the corpses from their graves while others tackle the trafficking side of their illegal business.
This is not an unprecedented situation where a wildlife trafficking investigation ends up uncovering trade in human remains. In 2012, Djoum wildlife officials in collaboration with the gendarmerie and with technical assistance from LAGA arrested five men with elephant parts and human body parts.
Human bone and organs trafficking is reportedly on the rise in the Noun region and several individuals have recently been arrested for their involvement in the crimes. A child was also recovered alive from kidnappers on the same day of the arrest of the three alleged human bone traffickers by the gendarmerie. In January 2020, a gang of 4 suspected human bone traffickers were arrested in Koutaba. They had profaned a tomb for the sum of 10 million FCFA.
Human body parts and some wildlife species are in high demand in Central Africa sub region to be used by occultists who believe they have supernatural powers. It’s also used in secret ceremonies.