Police seize 8kg of ivory in Kwale county after tip-off (Kenya)


Chari Suche, The Star

Date Published

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Police in Kwale county on Wednesday seized eight kilogrammes of ivory in Muhaka area, Msambweni subcounty.

The value is yet to be established as the tusks are old.

County commander Tom Mboya Odera yesterday said police were tipped off by residents.

Sources said the ivory was found at the Icipe building, but Odera told the media, “There is an institution in the area and what I am giving you are facts that we wish to hold until we establish the truth with the people within that place.”

No arrests have been made, but police have launched investigations.

“We have adequate information about who might be behind keeping the items there. We have teamed up with other security agencies – including the KWS investigation department – to look into why the tusks came and where they were being taken,” Odera said.

UK Action

“The culprits had already sought a buyer and the place was just a collection point. Investigations have started. We are a multi-agency team and we will find out the origin and where they were headed to.”

Odera thanked residents for forwarding information. “We are on high alert, not just concerning this case, but on other issues.”

The UK is to introduce one of the toughest bans on ivory trade, tightening the noose on offenders in a move that could help end the scourge.

It said it will work closely with Kenya and other countries to wipe out ivory trade. “It [the ban] should remove value of ivory and that’s a key demand suppressor,” Thérèse Coffey, the UK’s undersecretary at the Environment department, said.