New Information for Mombasa Court to Ponder as U.S. Links Kenyan Ivory Traffickers to Major West African Cartel

New Information for Mombasa Court to Ponder as U.S. Links Kenyan Ivory Traffickers to Major West African Cartel

SEEJ-AFRICA THUMBNAIL:

  • Mombasa Courts will on Thursday decide if a last minute application by the ODPP will breath new life into a six year old ivory case.
  • Senior State counsel has alleged in an application recently filed with the court, that Abdulrahman Mahmoud Sheikh, his half-brother and father, were directly linked to Liberian wildlife crime cartel boss, Moazu Kromah.  Kromah was ‘extradited’ from Uganda to New York South District court in June of 2019 on charges relating to the trafficking of tons of ivory and rhino horn with associated money laundering charges. 
  • On February 20th, Chief Magistrate Evans Makori, ordered the ODPP to close its case with the next hearing, stating that “the spectrum of the case is being lost” and the “only remedy is to bring this to a closure”.
  • This case involves a shipment of 3127 kg of ivory found amongst bags of tea leaves that were seized in Thailand in April 2015.  It is the allegation before the court that the ivory had been containerized in Mombasa.  The police have charged Mombasa businessman, Abdulrahman Mahmoud Sheikh, his brother, father, and 6 others with offences relating to that shipment. There was a second sister shipment seized in Singapore but no charges lai.
  • One of the accused, Musa Jacob Lithare, was directly linked to the logistics of three Mombasa related ivory seizures made in January 2013. Those cases are still before the Mombasa courts.

Mombasa man and sons linked to Liberian smuggling suspect

By Joackim Bwana | May 24th 2021 Standard Media
A father and his two sons have been linked to a suspected notorious Liberian poacher and ivory trafficker, Moazu Kromar, who is facing charges in the United States, a Mombasa Court has been told. 
An application filed last week by the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) also lifts the veil on Mombasa Port’s links to a web of transnational criminal enterprise.
 
The ODPP, in its application, claims that Abdulrahman Mahmoud Sheikh alias Said Juma and his sons, Sheikh Mohamud Abdulrahman and Mahmoud Abdulrahman Sheikh, were part of this web with operations cutting across Africa, Asia and the US.
 
ODPP states that it has received intelligence from the US justice systems linking the Sheikhs to Kromar who is facing charges for allegedly being behind wildlife trophies smuggled to the US.
 
The US believes that Kromar aka “Ayoba’’ aka ‘’youba’’ aka “Kampala man” who is a Liberian national organised the shipping of the 511 pieces of ivory through Kenya to Thailand. 
 
“Kromar currently facing ivory trafficking charges in the US used to receive instructions from accomplices in Thailand and thereafter transmit the same to accused one and two (Sheikhs),” states senior state counsel Jami Yamina in his application filed last week in court. 
 
He said the US believes Kromar has connection with the Sheikhs and the “Jefwa brothers’’ link to the bill of lading relating to the container No FCIU5235796 seized in Thailand with pieces of ivory.
 
The same bill of lading was also used to ship out tea leaves through the port of Mombasa. 
 
“This (container) was seized in Thailand concealing 511 pieces of ivory the subject of this case,” said the DPP in an application filed before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Evans Makori. 
 
The “Jefwa brothers” are on the Interpol’s Red List after the Mombasa Court issued arrests. They are among those wanted for trafficking of the 511 pieces of ivory. 
 
Credible evidence
This information from the DPP is also corroborated by Superintendent of Police James Githinji in his sworn affidavit also filed in the court last week. 
 
According to the application, the US intelligence have credible evidence to link the Sheikhs to Kromar syndicate of poachers. 
 
The Sheikhs are currently battling charges of ivory trafficking in the Mombasa Court. Their cases is scheduled to come up on May 27, but the DPP’s application introduces a new twist. 
 
They are charged alongside Lucy Muthoni, Musa Lithare, Samuel Mundia, Salim Mohammed, Abbas Rashid and Kenneth Njuguna with trafficking 511 pieces of ivory to Laos, Thailand.
 
Both have denied the charges that they were behind the said tusks estimated to be worth Sh576 million on June 23, 2015.
 

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