Africa ExPress Staff
Nairobi, 30th February 2016
Kenya Wildlife Service is conducting investigations on 64.12 kilograms of ivory seized yesterday at 4 pm at the cargo area of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. No one has been arrested but the KWS, together with the police, had launched investigations to establish the source and the consignee. The investigations are to determine the source, owners, destination and recipients, among other details with a view to taking action. The ivory intercepted by the KWS Canine Unit had been concealed in gunny bags wrapped in nylon and put in buckets.
According to detectives operating at the Nairobi Airport, the value of the ivory is about Ksh 6.4 million (56,000 euros).
Initial police report indicates the cargo was on transit from Mozambique. The destination was Bangkok, Thailand.
Police report further indicates that the ivory was concealed in a luggage that had been disguised as gemstones. 18 pieces of raw ivory were discovered at the screening centre and subsequently prompting the seizure.
According to Airports Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Joseph Ngisa there were 22 stones in the cargo, two of them had ivory. “The rest were just stones disguised as gemstones. There were no gemstones,” said Ngisa.
No arrests have been reported yet. Police said they were looking for the suspects behind the ivory trafficking syndicate and had already contacted authorities in Mozambique and Thailand, in order to stay alerted to pursue the case and those behind the outlawed trade in the region.
The Kenyan government in preparing to torch next month a huge stockpile of illegal elephant and rhino ivory seized to the poachers.
The government has so far indicated that as many as 120 tonnes of ivory would be set ablaze to demonstrate Kenya’s commitment to fight poaching and illegal ivory trade.