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Sixteen elephant tusks nabbed in Nakuru

RIFT VALLEY
By Mercy Kahenda | June 6th 2019

Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu (right) with other officers inspecting some of the 16 Elephant tusks at Pakawa Police post in Nakuru on June 6,2019.Police officers impounded the tusks inside a private car at Pakawa estate after a tip off from members of public. Matu said they suspect the tusks had been transported from Eldoret and were destined to Nairobi. Two people a father and a son aged between 58 and 28 were arrested. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

Police in Nakuru are holding two suspects who were transporting sixteen ivory tusks in a personal vehicle.

Nakuru police commander Stephen Matu said the ivory tusks transported from Eldoret town had been destined to Nairobi before being nabbed at Royal estate, outskirts of Nakuru town.

The two suspects, a father and his son were transporting the tusks in a personal vehicle registration number KCG 552N.

“We are holding two suspects aged 58 and 28 years who were transporting elephant tusks from Eldoret town,” said Mr Matu.

Mr Matu said the police received information from members of the public yesterday morning at around 9, that the vehicle was being driven in several estates aimlessly.

Officers commenced investigations and arrested the two weighing the tusks in a residential house at Royal estate.

According to preliminary investigations, the tusks were to be collected by an individual from Nairobi who was on his way to Nakuru town.

The individual who was to purchase the tusks was communicating with the two suspects via phone mobile phone calls.

“Officers moved swiftly after receiving information from locals and fortunately, we arrested the two weighing the tusks as they waited to hand them over to an individual who was traveling from Nairobi,” said the police boss.

Matu said police are working together with detectives to arrest the suspect who was to purchase the ivory.

"We are going through phone conversation of the suspects to arrest more individuals linked to the crime," he said.

Matu said it is suspected that individuals involved in the illegal trade hire residential homes where they collect the tusks before having them to individuals who sell them outside the country.

“More investigations are on to crack ivory trade syndicate believed to be operating within different estates in Nakuru town,” he said.

He applauded role played by communities policing committees whom he said have been vital in sharing information that help in combating crimes in the county.

Lake Nakuru senior warden Catherine Ombani on her part warned members of the public against poaching.

Ombani said it is worrying that despite mechanisms set in place by various government agencies, we still have individuals killing wild animals in exchange of money.

“These are eight lives of elephants that have been lost. It is so unfortunate. We are urging members of the public to help in conserving our wild animals,” she said.

Ombani added that KWS officers together with members of the public shall keep vigil to protect wild animals.

“Kenyans should work together with the government to protect our wildlife that earns the country income through local and international tourism,” she said.

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