Police officer among two arrested with Sh6.2 million elephant tusks in Narok (Kenya)


The Star

Date Published
Narok North Deputy OCPD Paul Cheruiyot with Narok Deputy OCS John Manyara and KWS community warden officer Nur Gufu Jillo displays two elephants worth Sh6.2m recovered from the two suspects including administration police officer in Ilkerin Loita area, Narok County Sunday. Photo/KIPLANG?AT KIRUI
Kenya Wildlife Service officials in Narok County nabbed two suspects among them an administration police officer with two elephant tusks worth Sh6.2million in Ilkerin Loita area on the outskirt of world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Narok County on Sunday evening.
The officer is in charge of Loita Administration Police in Narok South Sub County.
Narok North Deputy OCPD Paul Cheruiyot said the two were arrested following a tip-off from members of the public who alerted the KWS officers.
Cheruiyot said the KWS officers posed as potential customers before ambushing and arrested the suspects with the 62 Kgs of ivory.
The operation was led by Narok KWS community warden officer Nur Gufu Jillo.
“When the officer approached them in a bush, they started negotiations but soon after arrested them as the AP officer tried to flee the scene when he noticed the danger,” said Cheruiyot. The suspects were due to appear in court Monday.
Cheruiyot appealed to members of the public be alert on those behind poaching activities in the area and help the government’s efforts to reduce the vice in the region.
Cheruiyot said police and Kenya Wildlife Service have heightened surveillance to nab poachers.
The arrests were made amid an unprecedented surge in the number of elephants killed by poachers in the last few years.
Two weeks ago, KWS officers impounded 84kgs of elephant tusks with an estimated value of Sh8.4 million and arrested a suspect.
The suspect, 43-year-old Daniel Muchemi Karanja was arrested at Majengo area in Narok town and the nine pieces of ivory believed to have been originated from Maasai Mara game reserve recovered.
Cheruiyot said the suspect was arrested following a tip off from members of the public.
Narok North police boss Paul Leting said the suspect, together with others, had also been arrested in May this year after he was found with night vision binoculars suspected to be used in poaching. The case is in court.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), so far this year a further 200 elephants have been killed across the country with 47 of them killed in Maasai mara.
Reports by the KWS say that in the early 1970s the elephant population stood at an estimated 167,000, but in just five decades, it has plummeted to slightly more than 35,000.