Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kenyan civil servant found with 17 Chinese woman gets two-and-a-half years for ivory smuggling

A Kenyan civil servant was on Monday arraigned in court and charged with poaching after being in possession of 17 elephant tusks. Michael Kyalo Mateng'e, who works in Mwingi East District, Kitui County was arrested over the weekend and appeared for charging at the Kitui Magistrates Court. KWS spokesman Paul Muya told Capital FM News that the arrest is a result of the tough measures they have taken to curb poaching in the country. He implored members of the public to join in the fight against the poaching of wildlife. "The local people are being used to poach through a chain of cartels involved in poaching. But if we work together, this war against poaching can be won," he stated. The officer was released on a bond of Sh5 million pending the hearing and determination of the case on September 9. On August 22, a Chinese ivory smuggler was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in a landmark ruling hailed for sending a powerful warning to poachers and smugglers. The illegal ivory trade, estimated to be worth between $7 billion and $10 billion a year, is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used in traditional medicine and to make ornaments. "A precedent has been set by this sentencing, it is a sign that our judiciary is waking up to the scale of the crisis and the damage that is being done to our animals," KWS spokesman had told AFP. Chen Biemei, 30, was jailed for 31 months for trying to smuggle 6.9 kilograms of worked ivory she had disguised as 15 bags of macadamia nuts. Chen, who pleaded guilty, was stopped and arrested on August 14 as she tried to fly to Hong Kong. Source: Capital FM, Nairobi

No comments:

Post a Comment