News / Africa

Suspected Ivory Smuggler Arrested in Nairobi

Kenyan Wildlife Service rangers display elephant tusks seized in Nairobi from a suspected smuggler who says the 19 ivory pieces came from Tanzania, March 31, 2013. (KWS)
Kenyan Wildlife Service rangers display elephant tusks seized in Nairobi from a suspected smuggler who says the 19 ivory pieces came from Tanzania, March 31, 2013. (KWS)
Gabe Joselow
Kenya’s Wildlife Service says a suspected smuggler was arrested in Nairobi Sunday with 19 pieces of raw ivory.   Police apprehended a Kenyan man in the Easteigh neighborhood of Nairobi transporting ivory in a pickup truck.

According to a KWS spokesman, police had been tracking the suspect for some time.

“It is from our intelligence gathering," Paul Udoto said. "It is somebody we had followed up until we finally caught him with what we were looking for.”

The suspect said the ivory came from Tanzania, though he has not indicated where it was heading.  He will be arraigned in court on Tuesday.

Elephants across Africa are increasingly under threat from poachers, driven by insatiable demand for ivory decorations in Asia. The price of ivory on the black market can go above $1,000 per kilogram.

Conservationists say tens of thousands of African elephants are killed each year, many at the hands of well-armed and ruthless poaching militias. Organized criminal gangs are also believed to be behind international smuggling rings.

Kenya’s wildlife officials have been calling for tougher laws to penalize convicted poachers and smugglers. The current wildlife regulations have not been altered since 1989, while poaching incidents have soared in the last few years.

Udoto hopes the country’s new lawmakers, elected last month, will take the problem seriously.

“We are really pushing that the incoming government gives priority to passing much more stringent laws that have stiff penalties for such," Udoto said. "As it is now, the penalties are really slaps on the wrist.”

In March, a Chinese smuggler caught with 439 pieces of ivory at the Nairobi airport, on his way to Hong Kong, was fined only $350 (30,000 shillings).  

The 50-year-old suspect pleaded guilty, paid the fine and has been set free.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sum of all fears from: Iran
April 03, 2013 12:03 AM
Usa and israel are cowrds you know why because they can attack to this regim when hostage takers occupid the us embassy and put end point to this regim for once and forever.but they didnt do that and let mullahs burn up everything.

by: Jenay Brooke from: Novato, CA
April 02, 2013 4:07 PM
I really hope that the Kenyan government makes an example of this new perpetrator with a stiff penalty that discourages other people from thinking that poaching is worth the risk. The fine of the Chinese man was ridiculous. That guy was probably out shooting or poisoning more elephants before the judge got home for dinner.

by: Bella from: USA
April 02, 2013 2:12 PM
It's so bizarre that the Kenyan government even investigates these crimes when it actively promotes poaching by giving criminals token punishments for possessing ivory and even hacking-off elephants' faces. Kenya is not serious about protecting its wildlife.

by: M from: Canada
April 02, 2013 2:09 PM
WTF!? "In March, a Chinese smuggler caught with 439 pieces of ivory at the Nairobi airport, on his way to Hong Kong, was fined only $350"
He should be sent to jail and whipped or whipped and then sent to jail. FAP

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs