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Suspected Vietnamese ivory smuggler charged in Nairobi court

Date Published: 08 Apr, 2013
Suspected Vietnamese ivory smuggler charged in Nairobi court

A Vietnamese national appeared in a Makadara Law Court in Nairobi this Monday morning (April 8, 2013) following his arrest at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while trying to board a Kenya Airways flight KQ886 to Bangok, Thailand, late Sunday night (April 7, 2013).

Nguyen Viet Truong Phong, 39, was arrested while possession of  488 pieces ivory bangles weighing 33.6kg. The contraband had been painted brown and yellow and then hidden in a suitcase and disguised as soap stone. 

He was,  however, detected and seized by a joint security team comprising the Kenya Airports Police Unit, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Airways and Kenya Wildlife Service officials.

This has now become a new trend of disguising ivory contraband being smuggled through the country ports. 

Only last month, a magistrate at Makadara Law Courts ordered a Chinese national to pay a Ksh30,000 fine or serve a jail term of one year in default after pleading guilty to charges of smuggling 439 pieces of worked ivory through Kenya.

The contraband had been chopped in pieces of two inches each and painted brown. Tian Yi, 50, was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while on transit from Kinshasa, DRC Congo to Hong Kong.


KWS officials and other law enforcement agencies have heighted security surveillance for illicit consignments of wildlife products and particularly ivory at all Kenya’s ports.




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