One of two Kenyans wanted for alleged involvement in wildlife and drug trafficking has been arrested in a joint U.S.-Kenyan operation. The U.S. government had announced a reward for information leading to the arrest of Badru Abdul Aziz Saleh.
U.S. officials said Kenya’s security agencies received a tip from the public that led to the arrest of Saleh Monday in Liboi, Garissa county. An embassy statement said U.S. and Kenyan law enforcement officials cooperated to apprehend Saleh.
Another suspect, Abdi Hussein Ahmed, remains at large.
On Thursday, the United States announced rewards of up to $1 million each for information leading to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the two Kenyans.
Eric W. Kneedler, chargé d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, said Monday’s arrest of Saleh “would not have been possible without the public’s support. He appealed for information leading to Ahmed’s arrest.
Saleh remains in police custody in Nairobi and is expected to be extradited to the U.S.
Saleh was arrested back in 2019 for drug trafficking but released on bail, according to the U.S. State Department. A statement said he was a fugitive with an outstanding warrant for his arrest. A federal grand jury in New York indicted him in 2021.
Saleh and Ahmed were accused in the transportation, distribution and smuggling of 190 kilograms of rhinoceros horns and 10 tons of elephant ivory from different African countries.
They were also alleged to have been involved in transporting and distributing 10 kilograms of heroin from Kenya to the United States.
If convicted, both could face up to 10 years in prison in the U.S.
In March, Kenya launched a financial toolkit to help fight illegal wildlife trade.