Trafficking Crisis – Massive elephant poaching problem in Botswana

February 25, 2019 | Brainwave Science


A conservationist group which carried out an aerial wildlife survey in Botswana, which is known as a safe haven for elephants found a massive elephant-poaching problem. There is a spike in the number of elephant carcasses found in northern Botswana which show “obvious signs” of poaching.

A survey report in September showed that the level of poaching was “unprecedented” after nearly 90 elephant carcasses were found. Elephants are being killed by poachers at worrisome levels in four poaching hotspots near a world-renowned ‘wildlife sanctuary’.  Gangs of poachers are operating in this region.

Mike Chase, the lead author of the report, told CNN that Elephants Without Borders confirmed 94 freshly poached carcasses using helicopters and found 157 in total. The government called his figures “false and misleading” and criticised “unsubstantiated and sensational media reports”. He received death threats and has since had one of his two research licences suspended by the government.  Chase puts the number of poached elephants in the past year at more than 400 but says they were unable to verify all these cases due to a lack of time and resources.

The government acknowledges that poaching remains a threat” to its elephant population It is an obvious target for poachers and the country has put measures in place to deter poaching, including a hunting ban imposed by former President Ian Khama in 2014. But the country is expected to lift the ban and allow the canning of elephant meat as pet food, after a recommendation from Cabinet ministers.


Botswana is home to an estimated 130,000 elephants and accounts for about a third of the total African population. Unfortunately, about 40,000 African elephants are killed every year for their tusks. The elephants are illegally traded as part of a multibillion-dollar industry that extends from Africa to Asia and beyond.

The Botswana Government cannot stop this poaching alone. It needs cooperation from tourism companies. They have a responsibility to conserve these areas as well. It is understood that to protect the elephants and rhinos in this land, the government will have to incur huge costs towards the investigation. Also, this huge cost is sometimes the reason when governments find it unviable to conserve certain species of animals and overlook their poaching.

If there was a cost-effective and quick method to gather intelligence about poachers and detect if a person is connected to a certain poaching incident, then the government will be capable to provide better security to elephants and to conserve1 the environment.

It is difficult to track poachers without knowing their modus operandi. The investigation authorities must infiltrate the supply chain and choke it. In order to do this, they must gather fool-proof intelligence. Intelligence gathering is expensive and time-consuming and thus often have to be left incomplete.


The rate of poaching is extremely high, and at this rate, several species run the of risk being wiped out within the next ten years. By winning against these traffickers, law enforcement agencies will not only defeat crime but also play a major role in the preservation of nature and wildlife. There exists a way with which the entire supply chain, beginning with the poachers to the end customers, can be identified.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), illegal wildlife trade is a very serious transnational organized crime which requires effective legislation and criminal justice systems. This trade amounts to US$8 – US$10 billion annually. A Massachusetts based company called Brainwave Science has introduced a way to interrogate suspects and witnesses without torture. This technology, called iCognative can help to extract the most amount of information from the detained persons.

iCognative by Brainwave Science aids the field of forensics massively. It pinpoints and traces the origin of criminal activity, which is stored within the brain of the planners and plotters.

Once the investigation is carried out, the gathered details can be used for conducting a iCognative test on the men who have been detained. The test is conducted individually on each test subject, and it usually takes 45 minutes.

iCognative measures brain responses and accurately identifies if certain crime-related information is present in the brain of the test subject or not. For this, a laptop and a specialized headset are used. The headset picks up brain responses and transmits them to the computer.

The result of a iCognative test is more than 99% accurate. Whereas, a DNA or a fingerprinting test has limited applicability because related samples are only uncovered in only 1-2% of the cases. iCognative is a useful technology because it is applicable in more than 85%-90% of all criminal and civil cases. iCognative is not limited to trafficking cases, but also equally applicable to human trafficking, drug trafficking, immigration, national security, border security, counter-terrorism, and law enforcement. Trafficking Crisis – Massive

To conduct the test, crime related to stimuli is needed in the form of images, words, and phrases. These are presented to the test subject on a computer screen. Upon seeing the stimuli, the test subject’s brain emits specific responses to reveal whether they have awareness of the stimulus or not. iCognative operates on this principle. Trafficking Crisis – Massive

Stimuli in this case of poaching of elephants and in some cases, Rhinos can be pictures of carcasses, detail of locations where the carcass was found, pictures and details of members of relevant poachers, animal body part traffickers, details found from previously interrogated persons.

iCognative is extremely easy to use, highly portable and customizable. The results are 99.9% accurate and highly reliable. Trafficking Crisis – Massive

To stop the poaching of elephants, and to put the poachers, smugglers, and customers behind bars, the enforcement agencies need to incorporate iCognative Trafficking Crisis – Massive

Because there is always a heavy workload and multiple open cases, it is not feasible to dedicate the workforce to one case or mission alone. There is a need for efficiency and reliability in the process of interrogation.

Brainwave Science’s iCognative technique is the technique which must be used by each investigative agency in the world. iCognative will not only help to identify the guilty amongst the innocent but also help extract valuable information and understand the hierarchy of global criminal organizations.

iCognative is the weapon which the agencies of Botswana need to win the war against poaching and trafficking which has endangered the elephant population of the country.

Main Source: CNN