Our Logo

There is a story behind the logo.

In June 2014, a Mandarin speaking Kenyan private investigator (under the guise of an ivory supplier) walked into an ivory shop in Guangzhou, China. The dealer (target) ‘happened’ to be Kenyan, the two built a rapport, and in the course of conversation, the dealer stated that he was always looking for more ivory suppliers from Kenya.

Over the next 6 months, long distance contact was maintained through phone, email and WeChat. Another ‘supplier’ was brought into play.

In January 2015, the target sent one of the Kenyan ‘suppliers’ photos of ivory that he had in his possession that he was presently selling. The photos are depicted in the photos.

Six months earlier, on July 8th, 2013, authorities at Mombasa Port seized a sea container bound for Malaysia found with 444 pieces of ivory weighing approximately 3.3 tonnes amongst a cargo of ground nuts. As depicted below, all tusks were catalogued numerically beginning with the letter designation ‘SG’. Included with the 444 tusks were seven polished tusks. The story at the time is that the seven tusks had been taken from the Mombasa State House but that was never officially confirmed.

Many photos were taken of the seizure, by crime scene specialists and the media after the verification exercise that spanned July 8th and 9th. Amongst the photos taken is the one on the right, now used as the logo for SeeJ-AFRICA.

The ivory tusk standing on the left hand side, marked SG/097, and photographed on either July 8th or 9th, 2013, is the same SG/097 in the photo sent from the Guangzhou ivory dealer to a potential Kenyan ‘supplier’ in January 2015. In January 2015, SG/097 was supposed to be in secure police custody in Mombasa Port.

In addition, the second photo from the Guangzhou ivory dealer also featured in the 3.3 tonne seizure as detailed in the report by the Nairobi National Museum who itemized that a piece of ivory marked “NCC/MMNR/EL/0631” was found in the seizure. NCC/MMNR stands for Narok County Council, Masaai Mara National Reserve. That tusk it would seem escaped secure police custody on two occasions.

While authorities would no doubt question the authenticity of the 2015 photographs from Guangzhou, it is assured that they came from an a source of the highest integrity who cannot be named.

The seizure in question resulted in charges against one clearing agent, Nicholas Maweu John. The 2 prime suspects, Mombasa business men, were never found. At the conclusion of the trial, four years later, after acquitting John, the presiding Chief Magistrate questioned to the present location of the seized ivory. It would seem that in the early stages of the trial, the prosecution had inferred that they would be showing the court the seized ivory. This never happened and photographs of the ivory exhibits were presented instead.

As a result of the Chief Magistrate’s concern, 3 week later, a DCI Inspector from the Port Police station attended Mombasa Court and testified that the ivory was still in police possession. It was so ordered by the court to be handed over to KWS for disposal. How much, if any of the 3.3 tonnes made it for disposal is anyone’s guess.

Observing, Tracking, Reporting and Supporting Wildlife Crime Investigations and Prosecutions