Court detains for 5 days Chinese nationals caught with ivory, dog meat

What you need to know:

  • Neighbours of the suspects said an foul smell coming from the house the Chinese were living in prompted them to call public health officials.
  • Health officials suspected the foreigners were running a slaughterhouse in a residential area.
  • Police raid lasted more than eight hours.

A Nairobi court has allowed police to hold for five days three Chinese nationals in whose house they found dog meat, live tortoise and wildlife trophies during a raid on Tuesday.

Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate Carolyne Nzibe directed the suspects to be held at the Kilimani Police Station pending completion of investigations. The suspects will plead to charges on January 14.

The three were arrested on Tuesday, along with a Kenyan who was also in court, after police raided their house in Nairobi's Kilimani area following a tip-off from their neighbours.

A multi-agency team comprising officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Revenue of Authority raided their house, and conducted an eight-hour search.

The team found a live tortoise, large quantities of dog meat and ivory pieces. They also netted contraband goods that included cigarettes worth more than Sh2 million shillings and alcoholic drinks at the suspects’ apartment in Aberdare Courts. Apart from the live tortoise, large quantities of dog and game meat, leopard's skin and elephant tusks were also seized.

Nairobi Deputy Regional Police Commander Richard Kerich, who visited the scene, said the suspects will be charged with in possession and keeping wildlife trophies.

“Police officers got a tip-off on information about game trophies in this particular building,” said Mr Kerich.

According to the suspects’ neighbours, the house the Chinese were living in had an awful stench which prompted them to contact public health officers. The health officials went to the house in the company of police officers to confirm whether the foreigners were running a slaughterhouse within the residential area.

The three foreigners have been identified as Mr Xing Wei, Mr Zhang Jie, Mr Shang Li and a David Maseno Oseko, a Kenyan.

The foreigners are believed to have lived in Kenya for more than 10 years and had been running a supermarket in Lavington before venturing into the fast food business.