By Renson Mnyamwezi
KWS on Sunday arrested five influential businessmen suspected to have been operating their illegal trade in Voi District and recovered more than 80kg of ivory in two separate incidents.
KWS warden Bernard Koruta said the officials accompanied the ivory dealers to the township where they produced another 32kg.
"Weâll hand the suspects to the police for further action once we complete our investigation," he said.
They arrested the five ivory dealers and impounded 84kg of ivory, said Mr Koruta.
Speaking to The Standard on the telephone from Tsavo East Park headquarters, the warden said they were holding the suspects with a view of gathering more information that could lead to the arrest of other illegal dealers.
The arrest comes at a time when poaching has been are on the rise in the sprawling Tsavo National Park. Scores of elephants have been killed during the wave of rampant poaching activities and prolonged drought.
In one of the incidents, KWS officials were tipped that two businessmen were selling the game trophies in Voi.
They went to the suspectsâ residences disguised as potential buyers. The traders produced 52kg of ivory and negotiated prices. They also informed the prospective âbuyersâ there was another consignment hidden at Mackinnon, where they took them.
Tsavo conservation area Assistant Director Jonathan Kirui described the arrest as a major breakthrough in the fight against poaching.