Spanish Wildlife Criminal Arrested in Guinea
Photo Credit: Website
WARA led by Charlotte Houpline is part of the EAGLE community of activists founded by Ofir Drori, FFN Award winner 2011, and they recently arrested Carlos Corces Bustamante, a Spanish wildlife criminal. He had illegally rented a hunting reserve in a remote area, abounding in wildlife, where he had organized hunting expeditions for trophy hunters from all around the world, with no respect to any rules, for years. The investigation revealed his illegal possession of guns and his involvement in drugs trafficking.
Carlos Corces Bustamante, a Spanish wildlife criminal, arrested in Guinea. He had illegally rented a hunting reserve in a remote area, abounding in wildlife, where he had organized hunting expeditions for trophy hunters from all around the world, with no respect to any rules, for years.
The hunting reserve of 25,000 ha in a remote area near the Sierra Leone border was established at least 13 years ago by an Austrian hunter. After the previous holder died, Carlos leased the reserve with complicity and corruption of some officers, well hidden from the spotlight of the higher authorities, who did not even know that it existed.
He and his clients were repeatedly hunting elephants, bongos, hippos, leopards and other species, fully protected by Guinean law, sometimes even using cruel methods, like bows and arrows. He was offering hunting safaris on internet in USA as well as in Europe, without obtaining any permit. The trophies were also exported out of the country without proper documents. The investigation revealed that he possessed guns illegally and he seems to have been involved in drugs trafficking as well.
The operation started by arresting his accomplice Mohamed Camara with guns and wildlife trophies, heads of Bongo, buffalo and other fully protected animals, in Carlosʻ hunting camp. During interrogation he denounced the activities of his boss. Based on this evidence an arrest warrant was issued and Carlos was arrested in his hotel in Conakry two days later. The investigation revealed his illegal possession of guns and his involvement in drugs trafficking. Charlotte Houpline, the WARA Director arrived to Guinea to coordinate the arrest operation.
The Coordinator and the WARA Director held a series of meetings with various authorities and
diplomats to inform them about the arrest operation, including the UK Ambassador, the Head of
Cooperation and Environmental Programme of EU, the Political Advisor of the US Ambassador,
the National Director of Judicial Police, the focal points for Wildlife Crime at the Ministries of Environment, Justice and Security and Civil Protection, the CITES Focal Point and others.