Police in Samburu seize 13kg ivory from suspected traffickers

Ivory traffickers

Police and KWS officers display ivory which was seized from three suspects (in handcuffs) who were arrested in Samburu on May 16, 2021.

Photo credit: Geoffrey Ondieki | Nation Media Group

Three suspects are being held at the Maralal Police Station after they were arrested with four ivory tusks weighing 13 kilogrammes in Barsaloi, Samburu County.

Police found the three with the elephant tusks on Sunday following a tip off from the public.

Samburu Central Police Commandant Alex Rotich said the elephant tusks, which had been cut into small pieces, weighed 13 kilos with an estimated street value of Sh1.7 million. He added that the suspects were arrested along the Barsaloi-Maralal road after a combined team of police and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers gave a chase.

"Officers from the KWS got a tip off from members of the public and together we swung into action,” Mr Rotich said on Sunday.

Unknown destination

The police boss added that the suspects had concealed the consignment and were transporting the ivory to an unknown location using a private car.

The suspects are being held Maralal Police Station as investigating officers gather more information before charging them in court on Monday.

The Barsaloi-Maralal road is notorious for trafficking of illegal items such as bhang, sandalwood and ivory, as several cases have been reported in the past.

Mr Rotich said the police will continue to be vigilant, noting that the Sunday evening arrest is a breakthrough in the fight against trafficking of illegal goods in the area.

“We must protect our animals for the future generations. Elephants are an endangered species and it is our duty to protect them,” Mr Rotich added as he called on the public to report unscrupulous individuals within the society.

The KWS said the tusks are suspected to have been removed from two elephants. The agency said it is working with stakeholders to put in place mechanisms, including enhanced community education and inter-agency collaboration, to eradicate all forms of wildlife crime, particularly poaching.


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