, NAIROBI Kenya, Jul 9 – The Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Revenue Authority have intensified the war on illegal trade in ivory and impounded another consignment weighing 3.2 tonnes at the port of Mombasa.
The consignment was intercepted in a 20-foot container awaiting shipment to Malaysia.
KRA Public Relations and Corporate Affairs officer Fatuma Yussuf said that the ivory tusks were packed in Kenya.
Speaking to the press, Yussuf said documents indicate that ivory was disguised as groundnuts, wrapped and some stashed in sacks.
“Some of the ivory weighs almost 60 kilograms an indication that they were hacking off ivory from big elephants,” she noted.
Arthur Tudor the director Kenya Wildlife Service’s Coastal region said the kind of ivory originated from elephants from the savannah that include Kenyan national parks and neighbouring countries .
“This is the largest consignment of ivory to be seized this year. We have intensified our operation by collaborating with other security agencies including KRA to curb smuggling of ivory,” Tudor affirmed.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman in Mombasa Paul Mbugua said the ivory weighed 3,287kgs.
“The ivory weighing 3,287.21kilogrammes comprised 382 whole pieces and 62 cut pieces. The consignment had been declared as 240 bags of groundnuts. About the value we do not have since this black market… we don’t have a fixed price for ivory.”
Warning poachers he said: “We have already stepped up the fight against poaching.”
Police are investigating the exporter, Fresh Produce Company based in Nairobi, the consignee Hai Chauna enterprise in Malaysia and the clearing agent SeaFate Freight based in Mombasa in-connection with the seizure.
On Tuesday last week more than 775 pieces of ivory estimated to be worth Sh29 million were also impounded at the port of Mombasa.
The ivory was hidden among dry fish maw in a container from Uganda destined for Malaysia.
A combined force of KRA, Kenya Wildlife Service, Port Police and the Kenya Ports Authority intercepted the 1,476.4 kilos in a 20-foot container.
KRA Deputy Commissioner in charge of Port Operations John Changole revealed that officers started tracking the suspicious container since June 13 when it entered at the Malaba border after the details declared became suspect.