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2.1 tonnes of ivory seized at a warehouse in Mombasa
Date Published: 09 Jun, 2014
Ivory haul recovered in a warehouse at Tudor in Mombasa County Thursday morning (June 5, 2014) weighs 2,152kgs, preliminary investigations have revealed.
Two suspects, including the owner of the premises where the ivory was found, have been arrested.
A joint team of Police and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officials seized the ivory comprising of 228 pieces of uncut tusks hidden in a warehouse early Thursday (June 5, 2014). Some 74 pieces of cut ivory were also recovered.
Officials are preparing to prefer charges against the suspects relating to being in illegal possession and dealing with a trophy of an endangered species in court. If convicted, they face a fine of Kshs. 20 million or life imprisonment.
This is the biggest seizure of ivory recovered this year in the port city of Mombasa, a known route for smuggling contraband ivory.
In April, a Kenyan and a Guinean accomplice were arrested and their vehicle impounded at a fuel station along Lang’ata Road in Nairobi in connection with 131 pieces of ivory. Their case is pending in court.
KWS and other law enforcement agencies have heightened surveillance across the country in the wake of increased poaching and smuggling ivory in recent times.
Ninety seven (97) elephants and twenty (20) rhinos have been reported poached since the beginning of the year down from 302 and 59 rhinos respectively in year 2013.