, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – A suspected Chinese ivory smuggler Ou Kaiming will spend the Valentine weekend in police custody after he was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Friday night.
Kaiming was arrested aboard a Kenya Airways flight trying to smuggle 0.68 kg of ivory from Maputo to China.
The alleged smuggler will on Monday next week face charges at the Madaraka Law Court.
Kaiming becomes the third Chinese to face the full brunt of the new Wildlife Conservation and Management Law 2013.
Earlier this month a Chinese national who has been charged with illegal trafficking of ivory from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Guangzhou was arrested while trying to flee Kenya.
Zhang Chunsheng, who had been released after paying a Sh1 million fine after pleading guilty to the charge, was arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko had appealed the sentence handed to the Chinese man, seeking a stiffer penalty under the new Wildlife Act, under which another Chinese ivory trafficker was slapped with a Sh20 million fine.
Police said they will charge the Chinese man afresh for disobeying a court order barring him from leaving the country, after the initial sentence was suspended.
High Court Judge Justice Mbogholi Msagha granted interim orders as sought by the DPP and barred the accused from leaving Kenya pending the hearing of the appeal.
Last month; a Chinese man who pleaded guilty to trafficking in ivory was fined Sh20 million (1.4mn Yuan) by a Nairobi court.
While delivering the sentence Makadara Resident Magistrate William Oketch said that even though Tang pleaded guilty and expressed remorse over the incident, he could not claim ignorance since ivory trade is a major cause of concern globally.
“The second limb of the offence in section 92 deals with endangered or threatened species of which the African elephant is an endangered species as declared in the Sixth Schedule of the Act and the accused is sentenced on count one to a fine of Sh20 million and in default to serve seven years imprisonment,” he ruled.
“Mozambique laws on ivory are weak and the situation is worsened by rampant corruption. The accused cannot honestly claim ignorance since the growth in illegal trade in ivory and the involvement of Chinese citizens is a major concern internationally,” the magistrate observed.
The Chinese national was arrested while carrying an elephant ivory tusk weighing 3.4 kilogrammes in a suitcase.