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Man arrested with 2.3-meter-long python pleads guilty, police seek to ascertain identity

The man whose identity was not immediately revealed was set to be arraigned in court on Wednesday to face charges stemming from the possession of a wildlife species without a permit in contravention of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (2013)/COURTESY

MOMBASA, Kenya, Feb 12 – A 33-year-old man, arrested at the Likoni ferry crossing channel on Tuesday in possession of a live 2.3-meter long python, Wednesday pleaded guilty to the offence of being in a possession of a wildlife species without a permit.

Karisa Iha, who was arrested after an x-ray screening machine picked something unusual hidden inside his suitcase.

It was found to be a 2.3-metre-long python, weighing 10 kilograms tucked in a black suitcase.

On Wednesday, Iha pleaded guilty of the offence before the Mombasa Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet.

However, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution requested the court to give them some time to determine the real identity of the suspect.

According to the DPP, the suspect did not have a Kenyan Identity Card at the time of the arrest.

Police suspect that he could have given a wrong name.

The suspects real names were suspected to be Benedict Karissa Fondo, therefore, they would require amending the charge sheet.

The magistrate granted the DPP and the police one more day to detain the suspect to establish his real identity.

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The case will be heard tomorrow (Thursday) after police have confirmed the suspect’s name as they appear on the Identity Card.

The snake is now under the custody of the Kenya Wildlife Service in Mombasa County.

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