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Chinese smuggler fined Sh30,000 as KWS rangers net 453 pieces of ivory
Date Published: 26 Mar, 2013
A Chinese ivory smuggler has been fined Sh30,000 or serve one year in jail after he pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling 439 pieces of worked ivory through Kenya.
Tian Yi, 50, was yesterday (Monday, March 25, 2013) arraigned at a Makadara Law Court in Nairobi following his arrest at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while on transit aboard Flight KQ 860 from Kinshasa, DRC Congo to Hong Kong late Sunday night (March 10, 2013).
The contraband had been chopped into pieces of two inches each and painted brown. They were then hidden in a suitcase and mixed with tree barks to disguise it as traditional medicine. But he was detected and intercepted by a joint security team comprising Kenya Airports Police Unit, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Airways (KQ) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
The suspect has since paid the fine and been set free.
Meanwhile, KWS rangers arrested two suspects and recovered four pieces of ivory weighing 83kgs Kasigau village in Taita Taveta County on Friday (March 22, 2013). Three more suspects were arrested and a piece of ivory weighing 27kg, two poisoned arrows and a weighing machine recovered in the same county on Monday (March 25, 2013).
In Nakuru County, two suspects were arrested and four pieces of ivory recovered in Mau Forest on Sunday (March 24, 2013). Another suspect was arrested in Isiolo County and four pieces of ivory recovered on Monday (March 25, 2013).
All the suspects will be arraigned in courts of law to answer to charges of being in illegal possession, dealing with a government trophy and failing to make a report of being in its possession to authorities.
KWS in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies has intensified security operations and surveillance across the country to curb wildlife related crimes.