Court Fines Two Sh20 Million Each or Serve 10 Years for Possession of Python Skins
February 2nd, 2024: A court in Kithimani, Machakos County, Wednesday sentenced two suspects to pay a fine of Sh20 million each or in default to serve 10 years imprisonment for the offence of being in possession of seven python skins and two crocodile skins.
The two, Oscar Kambona Musyimi and Anthony Mutie, were charged with the offence of being in possession of wildlife trophy contrary to section 92 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act No. 47 of 2013. The offence was committed on November 27, 2019 at Ndalani-Sofia Market within Machakos County where the accused were found in possession of the said game trophy.
While delivering the judgment, Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Wechuli observed that all six prosecution witnesses who testified adduced consistent and collaborative testimonies which the accused persons failed to shake during cross examination.
This is part of the efforts to contain the issue of poaching.
Meanwhile, three suspects were Wednesday arrested as they tried to sell 35 kilos of elephant tusks valued at about Sh3.5 million at Kapsokwony market, Mt Elgon.
Police said the men were using a motorcycle to ferry the trophies when a team of Kenya Wildlife Service rangers and police pounced on them.
The team had to shoot to the air to scare and stop one of the suspects who tried to escape the scene.
The tusks were concealed inside in a sack of potatoes.
A motorcycle that was being used to ferry the trophy and the suspects was detained and kept as an exhibit.
The three suspects aged 22, 37 and 40 were arrested.
Police said they will be charged with the offence of being in Possession of Wildlife Trophies of Endangered Species Contrary to Section 92(4) of the Wildlife Conservation Management Act 2013.
Officials said the seizure shows up to ten elephants had been killed and there is a likelihood the incidents happened in the nearby Mt Elgon Forest.
This is despite stringent measures in place to address the menace of poaching in the country and region.
Elephant tusks fetch a fortune in the black market as a surge in demand for ivory in the East continues to fuel the illicit trade in elephant tusks, especially from Africa.
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.