NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 5 – Three more suspects are in police custody after they were linked to the recent seizure of a consignment of ivory in Thailand that was shipped from the port of Mombasa.
Eight other suspects are already being held by the police to help with the ongoing investigations being carried out by a multi-agency team which includes Interpol to unravel all those behind the consignment.
National Police Service spokesperson George Kinoti on Thursday said investigations have also been extended to Singapore, Thailand and Tanzania to tighten the case against the culprits.
“Those found guilty will face serious offences attracting imprisonment of up to 15 years and fine of Sh5 million or both,” he stated.
He stated that a formal charge has since been filed against the three main suspects accused of dealing with wildlife trophies and engaging in organised criminal activity contrary to the Constitution.
Kinoti said already a warrant of arrest has been issued against other two suspects who are on the run.
Three tonnes of elephant ivory were found at a Thai port in April stashed in a container shipped from Kenya.
The discovery, which would be worth millions of dollars on the black market, was destined for Laos where the illegal ivory trade flourishes.
Some 511 pieces of ivory, weighing over three tonnes, was found on April 25 in a container “marked as tea leaves transported from Mombasa, Kenya, and on to Laos”, Thai customs said in a statement.
Scores of whole tusks – some nearly two metres long – were among the pieces seized.