Kitale court fines man Sh1 million for possession of ivory tusks

Kitale Law Courts

A Kitale court has fined a 46 year old man Sh1 million and an alternative of a one year jail term after being found in possession of two pieces of ivory tusks valued at Sh400, 000 without a permit from Kenya Wildlife Service.

Photo credit: Gerald Bwisa | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The accused claimed he had been framed as he was given a lift by a KWS officer in a vehicle that had the ivory tusks, which he said were planted on him

  • He claimed there were three tusks in the vehicle and wondered where the other went

A man found with two pieces of ivory tusks valued at Sh400,000 has been fined Sh1 million or spend one year in prison in default.

Martin Mukesa Juma, 46, appeared before Kitale Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng'ar on Wednesday charged with being in possession of the four-kilo trophies without a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Court documents showed that he was found with the ivory on April 10, 2020 at the KWS offices in Kipsongo, Trans Nzoia County.

He had pleaded not guilty to the offence and was released on a Sh200,000 bond and a surety of the same amount.

He claimed he had been framed as he was given a lift by a KWS officer in a vehicle that had the ivory tusks, which he said were planted on him.

He claimed there were three tusks in the vehicle and wondered where the other went.

But the magistrate said prosecutors had proved their case.

"I do reject and dismiss the defense raised by the accused and consequently find the accused guilty of being in possession of game trophy without a permit, contrary to Section 95 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act and convicted as charged," Mr Ng'arng'ar ruled.

Some members of the public, he warned, took wildlife conservation lightly and harsh consequences awaited anyone found with illegal game trophies.

The Act provides for offences relating to trophies and trophy dealing.

Anyone who kills or injures, tortures or molests, or attempts to kill or injure, any wildlife species or deals in a wildlife trophy or live wildlife species faces a fine of not less than Sh1 million or imprisonment for not less than 12 months or both.

The penalties also apply to those found in possession of a wildlife trophy or live wildlife species or who manufacture an item from a wildlife trophy.

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