Five arrested with ivory worth 7.2 million in Baringo

The 21 tusks (not pictured) translate to 11 elephants killed.

Five suspected poachers have been arrested in Tiaty Sub-County in Baringo after they were found with 21 elephant tusks weighing 72kg valued at Sh7 million.

According to Baringo County Police Commander Robinson Ndhiwa, the suspects were arrested in Tiaty East where they were riding on motorcycles.

Among those arrested were two motorbike riders and the three suspects.

“At around 4pm on Thursday, the five suspects were stopped by Kenya Wildlife Service and police officers on patrol. Upon inspection, they realised they were carrying seven pieces of ivory, a weighing machine and a hacksaw,” he said.

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Ndhiwa said police are working with KWS to trace the source and the destination of the ivory, which he said is suspected to have originated from neighbouring Laikipia county or Uganda.

The 21 tusks, he said, translate to 11 elephants killed.

He said there were no reports on elephants killed in the neighbouring Rimoi and Kamnarok national reserves.

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The arrest came days after cases of straying elephants were reported in several parts within Baringo.

The suspects are expected to be arraigned at Kabarnet law courts, according to Ndhiwa.

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The arrest comes weeks after Kenya took to Cites the proposal for a total ban on ivory and trade of African elephant parts.

Kenya wanted elephants listed in Appendix I of the Cites, meaning, they should be given highest protection available and a total ban of ivory imposed.

The campaign was in conflict with other African countries like Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe who proposed trade of African elephants.

African elephant conservation, particularly the ivory trade, has been a dominant issue within Cites for more than 30 years.

The issue is further fuelled by the recent increase in poaching and in the trafficking of ivory.

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Kenya Wildlife Service