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

Not Your Average Ivory Possession Case – 68 year old Italian National Arrested at Mombasa IA – CF E774/2022 Mombasa

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.

Italian found with ivory at Mombasa airport :: MalindiKenya.net – il portale italiano in Kenya

 

He pleads guilty, risks years of jail

22-06-2022 by redazione
 
He is certainly not a poacher, nor an international smuggler of valuables, and even less of a thug. But Paolo Brondi, a Piedmontese who travels back and forth from Italy to Watamu, where he would plan to settle a few months a year, now faces a very heavy penalty for possession of an ivory figurine weighing about six hundred grams.
 
Brondi, who is well known among the Italians stationed in Watamu and considered a decent person who has found like many in Kenya a place to relax and enjoy a prolonged vacation, was stopped a few days ago upon arrival at Mombasa’s MOI International Airport with the valuable ivory necklace and, after being detained by local authorities, admitted that he was its owner and that he had brought it specially from Italy but that since it was a worked object (with a sculpture depicting himself, as reported by the TV channel K24 news site with an estimated value of 17 thousand euros) he did not think it was a crime.
 
In fact, Kenya punishes the possession and trafficking of ivory, both with regard to elephant tusks or pieces of them, and with regard to worked and semi-processed items that are not properly reported and have certificates attesting to their age and provenance.
 
Already in the past, there have been cases of seizures and fines for those who failed to report historical hunting trophies or other wildlife relics (including ivory), and the Kenya Wildlife Service had issued an ultimatum to all owners of objects or parts of land or sea animal species that it is illegal to capture and possess (except precisely for ancient objects duly reported in times of no suspicion).
 
Now Brondi, who has already appeared a first time before Mombasa Judge Martin Rabera and pleaded guilty to the charge of possessing a trophy wildlife of endangered species, contrary to Section 92 (4) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, will have to appear in court hearings in Mombasa to explain exactly how and where he got that ivory in the hope that Kenyan authorities will understand his good faith and his terrible naiveté that led him to ignore not only Kenyan but international laws.
 
Because the penalties for detaining and trafficking ivory can carry up to 20 years in prison.
 

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