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Efforts to Combat Wildlife Trafficking at the Department of Justice
African Elephant Ivory tusks. Photo credit: Fish and Wildlife Service
United States v. Tania Siyam, (N.D. Ohio):  On Aug. 7, 2008, Tania Siyam, a Canadian citizen, was sentenced to five years’ incarceration and to pay a $100,000 fine for illegally smuggling ivory from the West African country of Cameroon into the United States.  Siyam originally operated art import and export businesses in Montréal, Canada, and Cameroon that were fronts for smuggling products from endangered and protected wildlife species, including raw elephant ivory.  The two ivory shipments to Ohio included parts from at least 21 African elephants.  

United States v. Kemo Sylla, et al., (E.D.N.Y.):  In December 2008, an indictment was unsealed charging the defendants with illegally importing ivory over a two-year period through New York’s JFK Airport disguised as African handicrafts and wooden instruments.  The six defendants pleaded guilty to Lacey Act violations and received sentences ranging from one year of probation to 14 months’ incarceration.  A number of the defendants also were ordered to pay fines to the Lacey Act Reward Fund.


Last Updated: July 2014