A poacher was gunned down in Nanyuki while an ivory smuggler was arrested over the weekend in an in Eastleigh with 19 pieces of ivory. KWS director William Kiprono said they conducted an operation over the Easter Holiday following their intelligence reports that poachers could strike during the festive season.
“Where were aware the poachers could strike over Easter,” Kiprono told Star on phone, “our officers carried out intensive security operation following our intelligence reports.”
He said a total 251 kgs of ivory was netted country wide while the ivory netted in Easleigh was 109 kgs. “We have been following crucial leads on the hide outs of smugglers and I would like to tell you that we are flushing all of them out soon,” said the director.The ivory is suspected to have originated from Tanzania, he added.
During the operation three AK47 rifles,several night vision equipment believed to be used in tracking elephants at night and 117 rounds of ammunition was netted.
In the past week, KWS rangers arrested five suspected poachers in Taita Taveta and recovered 110 Kilogrammes of ivory,weighing machine and poisoned arrows while in Nakuru, two suspects were arrested and four pieces of ivory recovered in Mau Forest . Another suspect was arrested in Isiolo County and four pieces of ivory recovered on Monday last week
On Monday, a Chinese ivory smuggler was fined Sh30,000 or serve one year in jail after he pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling 439 pieces of worked ivory through Kenya.He was released after paying the fine.
Tian Yi, 50, was arraigned at a Makadara Law Courts following his arrest at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while on transit aboard Flight KQ 860 from Kinshasa, DRC Congo to Hong Kong two weeks ago.
The contraband had been chopped into pieces of two inches each and painted brown. They were then hidden in a suitcase and mixed with tree barks to disguise it as traditional medicine. But he was detected and intercepted by a joint security team comprising Kenya Airports Police Unit, Kenya Revenue Authority Kwnya Airways and Kenya Wildlife Service.
By Kibiwott Koross, The Star, 3 April 2013