Thursday, October 16, 2014
Interpol issues warrant of arrest for Kenyan poaching kingpin
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – Interpol on Thursday issued an international arrest warrant for Kenyan national Feisal Mohamed, on suspicion of involvement in the illegal ivory trade. According to Interpol, Mohamed is said to be behind three tonnes of ivory confiscated in Mombasa on July 9 last year, when the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) impounded a consignment weighing 3.2 tonnes at the Port of Mombasa. The consignment was intercepted in a 20-foot container awaiting shipment to Malaysia. At the time, KRA Public Relations and Corporate Affairs officer Fatuma Yussuf said the ivory tusks were packed in Kenya. Yussuf had also said documents indicated that the ivory was disguised as groundnuts, wrapped and some stashed in sacks. 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 . Following the seizure, police initiated investigations on the exporter in Nairobi, the consignee in Malaysia and the clearing based in Mombasa. Two alleged smugglers were on July 12 charged over the consignment but denied the charges. Abdul Halim Sadiq and Ghalib Sadiq Kara were charged in the port city Mombasa for being in possession of the stash of elephant tusks. An arrest warrant was also issued for businessman Mohamed. In the warrant issued on Thursday, the international police organisation called on member states to arrest Mohamed if he sets foot on their territories. On Wednesday, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said tight measures were set to be put in place to assist in the fight against the poaching menace in the country. Kimaiyo said he had already met key stakeholders in the sector to strategise on the way forward as the threat continues to persist despite various efforts by the government and other stakeholders. “We are giving a very strong warning to the poachers…their days are numbered,” he warned. “They will face the full force of the law. We are not going to relent on the issue of poaching and we are going to deal with it firmly.” He said the current trend threatens to bring down the tourism sector which remains a major income earner but warned that police will not relent in the war. “Even if they are armed with any kind of sophisticated weapon, we shall deal with them. We have more sophisticated weapons than they have,” he stated.