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Interpreters sought in prosecution of suspected Vietnamese ivory smugglers

Date Published: 24 Jan, 2013
Interpreters sought in prosecution of suspected Vietnamese ivory smugglers

An interpreter is being sought to help in the prosecution of five suspected Vietnamese ivory smugglers in Nairobi. A magistrate in Makadara Law Court in Nairobi has ordered that suspected ivory smugglers holding Vietnamese passports to remain in police custody until an interpreter is found to aid in their prosecution.

The five suspects were arrested late Tuesday (January 22, 2013) at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while on transit from Luanda, Angola, to Bangkok, Thailand, aboard a Kenya Airways flight KQ771.They were detected and seized by a joint security team comprising of the Kenya Airports Police Unit, Customs officials, Kenya Airways officials and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) .

Vu-Thi-Dung,30, Nguyen Quan Vinh, 52, Nguyen Thi Thao, 30, Le  Thi  Thur, 33, and Pham Ngoc Thanh, 40 were arrested while being in possession of assorted worked ivory including three pendants,  eight bangles and three necklaces.

Only last week Mombasa port authorities captured 638 pieces of ivory weighing 3827 kgs, wrapped in bundles of gunny bags with an estimated value of over Sh100 million while being smuggled in a container to Jakarta, Indonesia. An investigation into the contraband is still underway.

Kenya remains an important link on trade routes to international destinations for illicit consignments of wildlife products and particularly ivory due to her vibrant ports of JKIA and Mombasa sea port.

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