Mombasa court denies two ivory trade suspects bail (Kenya)


Brian Ocharo, The Daily Nation

Date Published

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Two suspects charged with trafficking wildlife trophies worth Sh3.7 million have been denied bail for fear that they could abscond.

Abdikheir Gababa Ibrahim and Abdulahi Yusuf Adan will be remanded at Shimo La Tewa Maximum Prison pending the hearing and determination of their case.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Julius Nang’ea concurred with the prosecution that the suspects are likely to interfere with the case and flee from the court’s jurisdiction should they be granted bail.

“After careful analysis of arguments by the prosecution and the defence, the court is satisfied that, indeed, the [suspects] cannot be granted bail at this stage. Consequently application for bond is denied,” the magistrate said.

Tourism Affected

Prosecutor Wangari Mwaura had urged the court to consider how wildlife-related crimes have affected the economy, citing the reduced tourist numbers as a result of a diminishing wildlife population.

The suspects are accused of being in possession of elephant tusks and dealing in the trade of wildlife trophy of an endangered species in violation of the law.

They are charged jointly with others not before court after they were found in possession of eight pieces of elephant tusks weighing 37 kilogrammes without a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Fresh Charges

The suspects will also be charged afresh after the prosecution amended the charge sheet.

Mr Yusuf is accused of making documents without authority and uttering them with intent to deceive police officers.

He is accused of making an identification document purporting it to be a genuine one issued by the National Registration Bureau.

The prosecutor argued that the suspects’ actions had led to increased cases of elephants being killed for their tusks.

Ms Mwaura said the suspects’ places of residence have not been established, neither has the State received communication from their relatives, thus making them a flight risk.


She said that the 13 pieces of tusks recovered from the suspects have been forwarded to the National Museums of Kenya and the national cybercrime laboratory for further analysis.

The prosecutor said the suspects are perennial offenders and that there is a high likelihood they may interfere with witnesses who could be participants in their network.

Ms Mwaura revealed that further investigations have disclosed that Mr Gababa is facing similar charges in courts in Bomet and Narok, making him a perennial offender who should not be granted bail as he will continue endangering the lives of elephants.

She said that several people linked to the case are still at large and presently evading arrest.

The case will be mentioned on September 3.