Ksh 13 Million Fine or 10 Years in Jail for Dealing Ivory
- May 16th, 2019, based on intelligence, DCI and KWS arrested Ibrahim Samson Ali and Japhet Bakari Mbuguni shortly after they arrived in Mombasa on a bus from Busia.
- They were found in possession of 9 tusk pieces (the 9th piece, after analysis, was not ivory) found amongst a 50 kg bag of maize that came from Kitale. The total ivory weight was 6.5 kg.
- Samson Ali was released on bond but Bakari Mbuguni remained on remand for the trial duration.
- On August 19th, 2021, Chief Magistrate E. Nyaloti ruled that the State had proved their case and convicted both.
- On August 23rd, 2021, Samson Ali was sentenced on the 1st count (Dealing in wildlife trophies) to a fine of KSh 10 Million ($100,000 USD) or 7 years in jail in default. On count 2 (possession of wildlife trophies), he was sentenced to a Ksh 3 million fine or 3 years in default. A pre-sentence report has been ordered for Bakari Mbuguni on September 9th.
|FILE||CF 853/2019 Mombasa|
|SEIZURE DATE||May 16th, 2019|
|CONTRABAND SEIZED AND CIRCUMSTANCES||The two accused were arrested after arriving in Mombasa on a bus from the border town of Busia. The ivory pieces were found in a 50 kg sack of maize from Kitale with the name and phone number of Bakari written on the outside.|
|LOCATION||Mwembe Tayari area, Mombasa Town|
|POINT OF ORIGIN||Unknown - Possibly Ugandan|
|ACCUSED||Ibrahim Samson Ali and Japhet Bakari Mbuguni|
|CHARGED||Dealing and Possession of Wildlife Trophies|
|COURT||Mombasa - Court 2|
|VALUE (CHARGE SHEET)||ksh 8.5 million|
|OTHER CONTRABAND||Not Applicable|
|ARRESTING AGENCY||DCI and KWS|
|INTEL_PERSONS OF INTEREST||Samson Ali had been jailed for 4 months in Uganda from December 2015 for a customs related offence. Bakari, an apparent 2nd year university student stated that he had been framed by the father of his girlfriend.|
Two suspects convicted of ivory trafficking
Brian Ocharo I Nation Media Group.
August 20th, 2021: Two suspects, including a university student, charged with trafficking in 8.5kg of elephant tusks have been convicted.
Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti ruled that prosecutors had proved their case against Ibrahim Samson Ali and Japheth Bakari Mbuguni for offences they committed in Mombasa three years ago.
“I have considered the evidence tendered by the prosecution and submissions by the accused persons. It is my finding that the suspects are guilty as charged,” the magistrate said. Mr Ali’s bond was cancelled and he will be remanded in custody pending his sentencing.
Mr Bakari, 27, has been in prison since 2019 after failing to post a Sh50,000 bond. He also failed to provide evidence that he was a Moi University student at the time he was arrested and charged.
Since his arrest in 2019, he had made various claims in court to seek sympathy.
Earlier this year, he told the court that his father had died on March 15 and wanted to be allowed to attend his funeral. Police investigated and reported to the court that Mr Bakari’s father, who resides in Kwale County, was alive and healthy.
Yesterday, Ms Nyaloti explained to Mr Bakari that he had been kept behind bars since 2019 for his own security. “I did not want to release you on bond and then after a few days, we get a report that you have been killed. Your security is part of the reasons we kept you in prison,” she said.
Mr Bakari has asked the court to consider the three years he has spent in prison when it sentences him.
Mr Ali and Mr Bakari are accused of possessing nine pieces of ivory weighing 8.5kg and worth Sh850,000. Police discovered the elephant tusks hidden in a white 50kg sack of dry maize.
Mr Ali had previous criminal records, the court heard. A letter from Interpol shows that he was convicted of a similar offence by a Ugandan court.
Key witnesses in the current case had feared for their lives, were put under police protection and used aliases when they testified. The order to hide their identities came from the High Court after they told Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji that they could only testify if they were put under witness protection.
In his many court appearances, Mr Bakari maintained that the charges against him arose from his romantic relationship with an undisclosed tycoon’s daughter. He alleged that his girlfriend’s father was the owner of the elephant tusks that they were arrested with.
He claimed he had been framed by the tycoon, whom he has not named and who allegedly warned him against the love affair.
“I found myself in this problem because of the love affair. Her father did not approve of the relationship because of my poor background,” he claimed in court in 2019.
The two will be sentenced on August 23.
SEEJ-AFRICA NOTE: Ibrahim Samson Ali had served four months in a Ugandan jail for a customs related offence.
Illegal ivory traders devise new ways to beat detection
By WINNIE ATIENO
- Kenya Wildlife Service assistant director for Coast conservation area Arthur Tuda said the two suspects had concealed the ivory in sacks of maize.
- But one of the suspects claimed he is a university student and that he was framed.
- He claimed he had brought a sack of maize from Kitale to Mombasa via a public bus and was unaware that there was ivory in the sack.
Two people were on Thursday found with eight pieces of ivory worth millions of shillings in Mwembe Tayari, Mombasa. Kenya Wildlife Service assistant director for Coast conservation area Arthur Tuda said the two suspects had concealed the ivory in sacks of maize. But one of the suspects claimed he is a university student and that he was framed. He claimed he had brought a sack of maize from Kitale to Mombasa via a public bus and was unaware that there was ivory in the sack.
However police in Mombasa said they ambushed the suspects following a tip off that they were carrying suspicious luggage. But Mr Tuda said the two suspects Ibrahim Ali and Japhet Bakari were nabbed with eight pieces of the tusks. He said the two will help investigators in revealing their networks.
Mombasa police commander Jonston Ipara warned Kenyans against engaging in the illegal trade. “We are conducting operations to flush out criminals in this city,” Mr Ipara warned.
Mr Tuda said those doing the illegal business have now come up with the new ways of concealing the ivory to evade arrest. “Mombasa is an ivory hub where criminals meet before they ship their consignment to other nations because of the closeness to the port,” Mr Tuda said.
Two Other Suspects Arrested in Kilifi
The arrests came after two other suspects were apprehended in Kilifi on Wednesday with four pieces of ivory weighing 8.5 kilogrammes. Mr Tuda said the suspects are being held at Malindi Police Station. The two had concealed the four pieces in a sack of charcoal.