KWS officials arrest four suspects found in possession of ivory

Suspects found in illegal possession of ivory arrested. [Courtesy]

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officials have arrested four suspects in Marsabit and Isiolo counties, found in possession of elephant tusks.

A statement by KWS estimated the tusks at a weight of 56.8 kilogrammes.

Authorities said two suspects, James Legalorah and Lesarin Leejer were arrested at Laisamis town in Marsabit County with six elephant tusks, while looking for prospective buyers.

"James Legalorah and Lesarin Leejer were arrested by a combined intelligence and investigations team from KWS who posed as buyers of the tusks," the agency said.

The other two Ezra Mutungi and Nahshon Gitonga, who were found with two elephant tusks weighing slightly over 7 kg were nabbed at Gambella trading centre in Isiolo County.

"It is suspected that the tusks belonged to an elephant killed in Gambella area last year," KWS said.

Mutungi and Gitonga were then arraigned in a Isiolo court on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

They were granted a bond of Sh1.5 million each with a surety of a similar amount, while Legalorah and Leejer are set to know their fate later in the day.

Ivory trade continues to be a big challenge in Kenya despite numerous campaigns by the East African nation to safeguard her elephants.

Kenya banned the sale of ivory in 2017, with reports indicating thar milestones were achieved following a significant fall in the trade in China.