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Rabai Police probe and KWS Rangers recover U.S. $180,000 dollars worth of poached ivory | Coastweek

KILIFI (Xinhua) -- Police officers display ivory pieces outside Rabai Police Post in Kilifi. Kenya on Tuesday nabbed 35 pieces of ivory tusks worth 18 million Kenyan shillings (180,000 U.S. dollars) at a coastal village. XINHUA PHOTOS - JOY NABUKEWA

Rabai Police probe and KWS Rangers recover
U.S. $180,000 dollars worth of poached ivory

by Joy Nabukewa MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Tuesday nabbed 35 pieces of ivory tusks worth 18 million Kenyan shillings (180,000 U.S. dollars) at a village in Kenya’s coastal region.

The anti-poaching police who had received a tip-off from members of the public set a trap and disguised as buyers before arresting two suspects who had concealed the ivory in sacks and buried them underground.

"Today at about 5.00 a.m. in the morning, we did joint operation involving KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) and National Police Service from Rabai and managed to recover the consignment," Rabai Sub-County police commander David Maina told Xinhua.

Police used sniffer dogs to recover the haul, about 20 km from where police nabbed 11 pieces of ivory weighing 55 kg in December 2018.

John Chisiwa Ngoma and Mwauchi Mgaza were arrested as they tried to sell the ivory to the officers as two other suspects escaped the dragnet.

The two will be arraigned in court on Wednesday.

"Upon interrogation they told us that they had just bumped on the consignment and they were trying to find out what it was. But that is a lie," Maina added.
.

He said that the dealers were targeting local buyers who would organize for brokers who sell the ivory to international markets. Police believe ivory might have been poached from Tsavo National Park, which hosts the largest population of elephants.
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UPDATES:

Kenya launch campaign
to push for a global ban
on illegal ivory trade

by Naftali Mwaura NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Wednesday launched a campaign to lobby for a global ban on ivory trade in order to save the remaining population of elephants facing threats like poaching.

The campaign dubbed "Elephants and Ivory should Never be Ripped Apart" was launched by Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenya to raise awareness on the need to protect the iconic large mammals.

  Rabai Police probe and KWS Rangers recover U.S. $180,000 dollars worth of poached ivory | Coastweek

KILIFI (Xinhua) -- Police officers display ivory pieces outside Rabai Police Post in Kilifi. Kenya on Tuesday nabbed 35 pieces of ivory tusks worth 18 million Kenyan shillings (180,000 U.S. dollars) at a coastal village. XINHUA PHOTOS - JOY NABUKEWA
.
"The threat of ivory trade needs to be ended and the time to do it is now. Any attempt to reopen the ivory trade must be opposed strongly," said Kenyatta.

Kenya has joined other African countries to lobby for listing of the continent’s elephants in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), amid serious threats to their survival.

The new month-long campaign targets policy makers, industry executives and community leaders to strengthen the case for delegitimizing ivory trade that threatens extinction of African elephants.

Kenyatta said that a total ban on ivory trade will help restore population of African elephants that are a major source of tourism revenues.

"As a country, we are in full support of the ban in all trade in elephant ivory," said Kenyatta.

Kenya is a member of the African Elephant Coalition (AEC) that has been advocating for a global ban on all forms of ivory trade ahead of the 18th conference of the parties to CITES that will be held in Geneva in August.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary for tourism and wildlife, said that Kenya will be on the frontline of efforts to push for closure of the remaining ivory markets in Western Europe and Asia.

"We are in solidarity with 32 African countries that are calling on the international community to impose a ban on ivory trade that has decimated population of elephants in the rangelands," said Balala.

He revealed that Kenya is also lobbying for inclusion of land mammals like giraffes as well as some fish species and carnivores in the CITES list of endangered species.
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Kenya confiscates 14 kilograms ivory from suspected traffickers

NAKURU (Xinhua) -- Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers on Friday confiscated 14 kilograms of ivory from suspected traffickers near Nakuru town, about 180 km from the capital, Nairobi.

Aggrey Maumo, assistant director in charge of Central Rift region at KWS, said the two suspected ivory traffickers were riding on a motorcycle when they were nabbed.

"Our intelligence officers laid a trap and arrested the suspects who were carrying ivory that was believed to have been plucked from elephants killed in Laikipia County several months ago," said Maumo.

He said the suspects will be arraigned in court next week to answer charges of ivory trafficking that would attract lengthy jail term.

"We are committed to ending the menace of poaching that pose a major threat to our wildlife and the sting operations targeting poachers will continue," said Maumo.

The latest arrest of ivory traffickers came barely a month after unknown people raided Lake Nakuru National Park and shot dead a rhino before carting away its horn.

           

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