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Fugitive Mombasa Brothers Now Linked to West African Ivory Cartel

SEEJ-AFRICA THUMBNAIL:

  • The recent ODPP ‘new evidence’ application lodged in a Mombasa court relating to the trial of Abdulrahman Mahmoud Sheikh @ Said Juma Said and others, continues to have public fallout.
  • It is alleged that in March 2015, Mahmoud Sheikh arranged the first Thailand shipment on instructions from West African ivory cartel boss, Moazu Kromah.
  • The logistics of this shipment and a second shipment seized in Singapore on May 19th, 2015, were facilitated by Nicholas and Samuel Jefwa. 
  • Documents and previously heard courtroom testimony indicated that the Jefwa’s purchased the tea (cover load) through a tea broker (Almasi Chai), and had the containers stuffed and cleared by Moi company, Siginon Freight Services of Mombasa.
  • The Jefwa’s fled Mombasa shortly after the Thailand 3.1 tonne ivory shipment was seized in Bangkok.
  • In the months after they fled Mombasa, a number of attempts to arrest them were unsuccessfully made due to corrupt elements within local and/or international law enforcement giving Jefwa’s prior warning.
  • It is not known why charges were not laid in relation to the second Singapore seizure when all the logistical aspects were identical as with the Thai shipment.

Editors Note: The below story by ‘The Star’, erroneously stated that the whereabouts of the Singapore seizure were unknown, perhaps on the perception given by DCI investigators that that case was still open. That particular 4.6 tonne shipment, seized in May 2015, was destroyed by Singapore in 2016.  The Chinese buyer, identified though an Environmental Investigation Agency investigation, was subsequently arrested in China and jailed on conviction.

Fugitive Jefwa brothers linked to notorious Liberian poacher

The Star
May 31, 2021
 
May 31st, 2021: Two brothers linked to a Sh570 million consignment of wildlife trophies nabbed in 2015 are still on the run five years down the line.
 
Nicholas and his younger brother Samuel Jefwa are accused of conspiring with other suspects to traffic in 511 pieces of ivory. The ivory pieces were later nabbed in Thailand in 2015.
 
The Jefwa brothers have been on the run since 2015 when other suspects linked to the consignment were arrested and charged in court.
 
Interpol had also issued a Red Notice on the brothers and listed them as wanted persons for illicit dealing in wildlife trophies and organised criminal activities.
 
The brothers were said to have been officials of Potential Quality Services, the company that allegedly exported the containers with the elephant tusks.
 
Two containers destined for Thailand and Singapore were concealed with blended tea and it is alleged that the Jefwa brothers signed for the exportation.
 
However, authorities were only able to recover the container destined for Thailand while the whereabouts of the Singapore container are only known to its unknown owner.
 
By 2019, the brothers were on the Interpol’s Red Notice. However, a recent spot check on Interpol’s website reveals only one brother on the list.
 
Samuel Bakari Jefwa, 31, is wanted for wildlife and other crimes. However, his elder brother no longer appears on the Interpol’s list of Kenyans wanted by the security agencies.
 
The Star could not ascertain whether Nicholas had been arrested as officials from Interpol could not be reached.
 
The brothers were recently linked to a notorious Liberian Ivory poacher, Moazu Kromah, who alongside three other Africans are facing criminal charges of running an international criminal enterprise in the US.
 
Kromah was charged at a court in Southern District of New York alongside Senegalese Amara Cherif, Kenyans Mansur Surur and Abdi Ahmed (fugitive).
 
All four men are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking and two counts of wildlife trafficking.
 
They allegedly conspired to transport, distribute, sell and smuggle approximately 190kg of rhinoceros horns and 10 tons of ivory from East African nations to buyers located in the US and Southeast of Asia.
 
According to court documents, Kromah, a well-known individual in the underworld of smuggling of wildlife trophies, used his connections to oversee successful exportation of a consignment to Thailand and Singapore.
 
It is alleged that the Jefwa brothers were signatories of the two containers.
 
The DPP has now filed an application before a Mombasa court seeking to introduce fresh evidence in a criminal case against a father Abdulrahman Mahmoud and his two sons Mahmoud Abulrahman and Sheikh Mahmoud who are accused of trafficking the 511 pieces of ivory.
 
According to affidavits filed in court, the brothers and their Kenyan counterparts are connected to the international criminal enterprise in either sourcing or financially supporting the trafficking of ivory.
 
The DPP said US intelligence connected the Jefwa brothers and their accomplices who allegedly supported the international criminal enterprise with planning, transportation and destination marketing of the 511 pieces of elephant tasks.
 

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