Three arrested with Sh48m ivory in Makueni, hunt on for Italian buyer (Kenya)


Mutua Kameti, The Star

Date Published

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Police and Kenya Wildlife Service rangers have arrested three suspects in Makueni for illegal possession of ivory worth Sh48 million.

County police commander Joseph Napeiyan said the three were arrested in different raids on the Nairobi – Mombasa highway on Sunday.

One of the suspects was arrested at Malili town and two others at Mtito Andei, the police boss said.

Joseph Kimilu was arrested in Malili with seven pieces of elephant tusks weighing 234kgs – all estimated at Sh46.8 million.

According to Napeiyan, the suspect was planning to deliver the tusks to a foreigner.

“We believe he is connected to a foreigner of Italian origin whom we are also pursuing,” Napeiyan said.

Samuel Mwongela, 33, and Otieno Okumu, 71, were arrested in Mtito Andei with 11 pieces of tusks valued at about Sh1.4 million.

“They had cut them into small pieces for transport,” the police chief said. The two are held at Mtito Andei police station.

He said the three suspects will be taken to court on Monday to face charges related with trafficking animal trophies.

Napeiyan said the operations were executed by a multi-urgency team from KWS, the police, and county security teams.