- On March 12th, 2023, a combined team of police and KWS rangers arrested four men with 15 tusk pieces weighing approximately 40 kg.
- Daniel Musembi Kimilu, Michael Kimeru Karanja, Charles Njomo Okwach and Jane Wangui Kiarie were arrested and held in King’eero Police Station pending an expected Monday arraignment in Kibera court.
- The four had attempted to sell the ivory to an undercover operative.
Four arrested with 15 pieces of elephant tusks in Kiambu
by Cyrus Ombati, Chief Crime Reporter, The Star
March 13th, 2023: Four people were arrested and 15 pieces of elephant tusks recovered following an intelligence-led operation in Wangige, Kiambu County.
The tusks were valued at about Sh4 million and weighed 40 kilograms.
In an operation mounted by police and Kenya Wildlife Service personnel, the 15 pieces of elephant tusks were recovered in the March 12 operation.
The four suspects had tried to sell the tusks to a man who posed as a possible buyer without knowing he was an agent.
The four were detained at King’eero police station pending arraignment in court on Monday, March 13, police said.
Officials say they have intensified the war against the trade of valuables in the recent past.
On January 28, a police officer was arrested over claims of trafficking elephant tusks worth Sh2.1 million.
The officer was arrested in Meru town while carrying 21 kilos of the tusks he allegedly intended to sell.
On January 9, five men were arrested in Ntulele, Narok County, while ferrying 32.9 kilos of elephant tusks worth about Sh3 million.
The five had concealed six pieces of the tusks in a sack of charcoal.
They were using two motorcycles to transport the tusks when they were stopped by Kenya Wildlife Service personnel and police.
On February 12, three suspects were arrested in Naivasha with tusks worth Sh5.8 million.
On March 3, a man was arrested with three pieces of the tusks in Mtito Andei, Kibwezi.
Officials say despite a ban on the international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers.
As part of efforts to stop the menace, Kenya has started using high-tech surveillance equipment, including drones, to track poachers and keep tabs on elephants and rhinos.
KWS and stakeholders have put in place mechanisms to eradicate all forms of wildlife crime, particularly poaching.
These mechanisms include enhanced community education, interagency collaboration, and intensive intelligence-led operations.
These efforts led to zero rhino poaching in Kenya in 2020-the first time in about two decades.
At least 20,000 elephants are killed annually in Africa for their ivory. This translates to 55 elephants killed daily or one elephant killed every 26 minutes with a population of 35,000 elephants.
On April 30, 2016, Kenya set ablaze 105 tonnes of elephant ivory and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta led world leaders and conservationists in burning the remains of 6,500 elephants and 450 rhinos killed for their tusks and horn.
Parliament has also passed strict anti-poaching laws and the government has beefed up security at parks to stop poaching, which threatens the vital tourism industry.
Regionally, Kenya has also emerged as a major transit route for ivory destined for Asian markets from eastern and central Africa.
The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhino horn are used to make ornaments and traditional medicines.