The words of the prosecution were strong, equal to the massacre.

According to the Rennes public prosecutor Vincent Mailly, the trafficking in rhino horns and elephant tusks judged by the specialized interregional court constitutes "a real cultural and ecological massacre".

Since Monday, nine men have been prosecuted for this vast trafficking.

Sentences ranging from two years suspended to six years in prison were requested against the eight defendants.

The heaviest sentences were called for the four members of the "Rathkeale Rovers", a criminal group from the Irish Traveler community, whose arrest in September 2015 marked the start of the investigation.

Tom Greene, 33, who had been arrested twice in possession of four elephant tusks and then a rhino horn, was called by the magistrate a "predator who does not hold the gun" and "VRP of the rhinoceros horn ”.

Six years in prison were required against him.

For his brother Richard O'Riley, 35, who accompanies him in his cases, the prosecutor demanded four years in prison.

None of the British were present

Their accomplices Edward Gammel, 29, and Daniel Mc Carthy, 33, have taken a year in prison. The magistrate asked that arrest warrants be issued against them, none of the defendants of British nationality having appeared at the bar.

Mr. Mailly requested five years in prison, including two years suspended with a warrant of committal, against David Ta, a 51-year-old business manager specializing in the export of antiques and perfumes, suspected of having managed a Franco-Vietnamese elephant tusk trafficking network.

He described as "not very convincing" the explanations of the defendant, in whom 14 African elephant tusks had been discovered hidden under a pallet, without valid supporting documents, in May 2016. Three years were required, including two with reprieve, against Quan Do Danh, 41, in whom “an ivory cutting workshop” was discovered.

According to the Robin des Bois association, the price of a kilo of rhino horn came in at around 100,000 euros per kilo at the time of the incident.


Rennes: Up to 100,000 euros per kilo… International trafficking in ivory and rhino horns


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