Man, 53, arrested with 11 pieces of elephant tusks in Kilifi

Police are holding a 53-year-old man after he was found in possession of 11 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 55 kilograms.

The suspect identified as Changawa Koi Kaisha, was nabbed at Chapungu village in Kaloleni, Kilifi County by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service officers from Mombasa on Tuesday.

The suspect is set to be charged in court after completion of investigations. This shows up to five elephants that were killed leading to the compilation of the 11 tusks.

This is the latest such recovery in a series of campaigns aimed at addressing the poaching menace.

SEE ALSO :KWS lifts outlaw on darting of wildlife

Last month, two other suspects were arrested in Kilifi and tusks worth Sh1.9 million recovered from them.

Kenya has been identified in various researches as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa, with several incidents of ivory seizures and recovery of wildlife carcasses in recent times.

The arrest comes at a time when various agencies are still investigating the March 2017 seizure of ivory weighing 117 kgs in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The Hanoi seizure was later traced back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Recent trends show that the far eastern countries continue to present a lucrative market for ivory and other wildlife trophies.

As part of efforts to stop the crime, Kenya has started using high-tech surveillance equipment including drones to track poaching gangs and keep tabs on elephants and rhinos. 

SEE ALSO :Suspect arrested with 11 tusks in Kilifi

Parliament has also passed strict anti- poaching laws and the government has beefed up security at parks to stop poaching, which threatens the vital tourism industry.

Regionally, Kenya has also emerged as a major transit route for ivory destined for Asian markets from eastern and central Africa. The illegal ivory trade is mostly fueled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and traditional medicines.

Elephant TusksPoachingKenya Wildlife Service