Monday, October 7, 2013

Kenyan customs service seizes two tonnes of ivory, pangolin scales at Mombasa port

Kenya Revenue Authority officers on Friday impounded a container with two tonnes of ivory which was packed in between bags of sesame seeds at the Mombasa port. The 40-foot container arrived in Mombasa via railway from Uganda and was destined for an oil manufacturing company in Turkey. The officers counted 686 pieces of ivory weighing 1.95 tonnes. They also ceased 45kg of scales believed to be from Pangolin, an endangered reptile species found in subsaharan countries. The KRA and Kenya Wildlife Service officers said they cannot establish where the animals were captured and killed even though the cargo is from Uganda. According to documents seen by the Star, 23,750kg of sesame seeds were being transported to Melmet vegetable oil industries in Turkey while Cosmo Freight International Company was the clearing agent. Speaking to Star yesterday KRA’s southern region senior assistant commissioner Fatma Yusuf said they are working closely with officers from other departments to carry out forensic investigation on the ivory. “We have to do a forensic investigation to determine the origin of these animals,” she said. She however said they cannot establish the value of the scales as it is the first time they have intercepted such a trophy. Source: The Star, Nairobi

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