Two detained with Sh 18.2 million ivory consignment in Kilifi

Police in Kilifi have impounded 35 pieces of elephant tusks and arrested two prime suspects they say were found with the goods.

The 182.2 kilograms tusks with an estimated value of Sh 18,220,000  were stashed in sacks. This is according to authorities who indicated that two other suspects in the smuggling syndicate fled the 5.45 am raid on Tuesday.Officials identified the detained suspects as John Chisiwa Ngoma and Mwachi Mgaza but did not name those who fled.

The suspects will be charged in Kilifi tomorrow. Kilifi Police boss David Maina said a multi-agency team of officers from Kenya Wildlife Service and National Police Service (NPS) acting on a tip off conducted a search in one of the houses in makobeni area Rabai location at around 5:45 am.The police chief said the elephant tusks might have been stolen from Tsavo National Park and the neighbouring ranches where poachers have killed the elephants.”We are trailing the two suspects who are on the run and we want to send a strong warning to poachers that we are up to them as our surveillance team are on the lookout,” said Maina.

The arrest comes a day after KWS intelligence team arrested six suspects in Taru area with a live pangolin creature.Mombasa County KWS boss John Wambua told the Standard, the four women and two men were intercepted in one of the houses with the animal and were ready for exporting.He said the Pangolin mammal was the most trafficked mammal in the world compared to other animals.”Pangolin is most illegally hunted and traded mammal on earth,” he said.Because of poaching, pangolin species range from vulnerable to critically endangered, he added.He said its scales are of high value in countries like Singapore.”The suspects had kept the animal in the safe house ready for shipping. We conducted our search acting on intelligence reports and managed to arrest six,” said the KWS boss.

Source: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001336052/kws-officers-arrest-two-suspects-with-sh18m-ivory-consignment