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Chinese and Tanzania nationals arrested smuggling ivory as a poacher is gunned down

Date Published: 18 Feb, 2013
Chinese and Tanzania nationals arrested smuggling ivory as a poacher is gunned down

Mr. Victor Mawalla, a Tanzanian national removes ivory from his customized vehicle with a false bottom at the KWS Headquarters in Nairobi.

NAIROBI, KENYA (February 18, 2013) A Chinese national will appear in a Makadara Law Court this Monday afternoon (February 18, 2013) following his arrest at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while trying to board a Kenya Airways flight KQ886 to Guangzhou, China, late Sunday night (February 17, 2013).

However, he was detected and seized by a joint security team comprising of the Kenya Airports Police Unit, Customs officials, Kenya Airways officials and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officials.

He was found in possession of assorted pieces of ivory beads packed in two suit cases weighing 58kg. He was booked at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Police Station awaiting arraignment in court.

He will be charged with being illegally in possession of government trophy and dealing in the same without the necessary permits. 

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect, employed by a construction firm in Nairobi, alleges that he bought the contraband at Maasai market – a popular city open air market for tourist souvenirs.  Investigations into this contraband are underway In another incident,two Tanzanian nationals will be arraigned in a Kibera court in Nairobi tomorrow morning at 9am(Tuesday) after they were arrested last evening with 16 pieces of ivory weighing 141kg in Ongata Rongai Township on the outskirts of Nairobi. 

The suspects, Mr Musa Felicia and Mr Victor Mawalla, were booked in at the Lang’ata Police Station where they are being interrogated.

A Tanzanian registered vehicle T629 AWH originating from Arusha in Tanzania was impounded. The temporary passports used by the two suspects show that the users had made numerous entries into Kenya from Tanzania and back in a span of a few months. The vehicle was a specially fabricated complete with a false bottom under the back seat. Under normal circumstances , the vehicle is suitable for carrying tourists. The vehicle and ivory cargo is at KWS headquarters in Lang’ata, Nairobi awaiting production in court..

Elsewhere in Lake Nakuru National Park, a suspected poacher was gunned down while his accomplice escaped towards Makalia River after a gun battle with Kenya Wildlife Service rangers. An M16 rifle and 17 round of ammunition were recovered. Three weeks ago, poachers illegally killed two white rhinos in the same park. IN another incident, a suspected robber was critically injured after KWS exchanged fire with a gang that had raided a tourist campsite in Samburu. Together with two accomplices, they escaped under the cover of darkness. The following items belonging to the tourists were recovered: one pair of binoculars, one passport, one camera and about 60 rounds of ammunition.

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