A pastor with the Full Gospel Churches is one of two people who were arrested in Kaptilu, Uasin Gishu county by officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service after they were found with ivory weighing 7 Kgs.
Pastor David Koech and another suspect Sammy Kiptum were also found with skins from two animals. One of the skins belonged to a leopard.
According to the Elgeyo Marakwet county warden Dominic Kilonzo, they suspect that the two animals were killed in Embobut forest in Marakwet East while the ivory is suspected to have come from an elephant from Mt. Elgon area.
“Our officers together with those from the criminal investigation department had been trailing the two after we got information that they were involved in poaching,” Kilonzo said.
The officers traced them to an area deep in the forest where they had dug a hole and hidden the loot as they searched for market. Kilonzo said the officers pretended to be buyers and after agreeing on the cost, the two took them to where they had hidden the loot before they were nabbed.
“They were selling one of the skins which belonged to a leopard at Sh200,000 with the other at Sh150,000 while the ivory was being sold at Sh50,000 per kilo,” Kilonzo said.
It was while they were being arrested that Koech pleaded with the officers to pardon him saying that he was a pastor.
“When he was asked why he was involving himself in poaching, he said that he had fallen into the devil’s trap which saw him commit the crime,” Kilonzo said. The two are being held at Iten police station and will be taken to court on Monday to be charged with the offense.