It is a rarity for an ivory arrest to made at Moi International Airport, Mombasa. The last such recorded case was in November 2014 when two crewman from a docked shipping vessel were apprehended while catching a flight home. The rarity moves up a notch when the ivory is coming into Kenya from Europe.
On June 16th, 2022, at 07:30, Kenya customs authorities during X-ray scanning, discovered what was reported to be an ivory statue in the luggage of an inbound passenger. Sixty eight year old Italian national, Paolo Brondi, was subsequently arrested.
He initially appeared in a Mombasa court on June 20th before Principle Magistrate Martin Rabera and pled guilty to all charges relating to the .6 kg ivory statue that was found in his luggage. As there was no Italian interpreter in court, Magistrate Rabera adjourned the case to June 22nd and so ordering an interpreter to attend. He was not comfortable that Brondi had a full appreciation to the seriousness of the charges he was facing.
On June 22nd, with an interpreter in court, Paulo Brondi pled not guilty to four charges; possession of wildlife trophy, manufacturing an item from a specified endangered trophy, importing a wildlife trophy into the country and bringing into a customs area prohibited goods, the last charge under the East Africa Community Customs Act.
Magistrate Rabera has remanded Brondi until July 1st pending a probation report for the purposes of bond decision. It is reported that he is a regular but part time resident of Watamu.