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68 year old Paolo Brondi before a Mombasa court on June 22, 2022

Ivory Possession Charges Withdrawn Against Italian National in Mombasa

July 1st, 2022: After spending 15 days in jail, 68 year old Italian national, Paolo Brondi, is a free man.

On June 16th, 2022, at 07:30, Kenya customs authorities of Moi International Airport (Mombasa) during X-ray scanning, discovered what was reported to be an .6 kg ivory statue in his luggage.

Brondi was arrested and initially appeared in a Mombasa court on June 20th and pled 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.

With no interpreter in court, the presiding Magistrate ordered an interpreter be provided and when Brondi appeared again on June 22nd, he pled not guilty but remained in custody.

On July 1st, 2022, in Mombasa court room #1 before Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku, the prosecution withdrew all charges under Sec 87a of the criminal procedure code. While the Kenya Wildlife Service investigators did object, stating that the file was ready to proceed, but it was clear that there had been discussions at a level above the court involving the Italian Embassy.
While it is understood that the circumstances of this case were atypical, it is not believable that the Italian, a regular tourist to Kenya, was unaware of the prohibited status of ivory in Kenya.

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