Chinese national trafficking ivory worth over Sh200, 000 arrested at JKIA

Nairobi, Kenya: A Chinese national was arrested while carrying worked ivory valued at more than Sh200,000.

Gao Xudong, 61, was removed from a plane at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Monday while headed for Hong Kong through Dubai with the ivory that he had stuffed in his pocket and luggage.

He had boarded an Emirates plane ready for take-off when police and Kenya Wildlife Service officials, who had stumbled on the ivory in his luggage, moved into action and removed him, witnesses said.

Xudong told police he is a resident of Juja in Kenya and was headed for Hong Kong for a visit before he would come back. He is expected in court Thursday.

Airport CID boss Judy Jebet said they are investigating to know the source of the ivory.

“The man has been in Kenya and it seems the ivory was obtained locally. It is criminal to be in possession of such ivory,” said Jebet.

At the airport, a South African woman was also arrested for trafficking psychotropic drugs. She was put under observation and would be charged once the analysis report is out, police said.

Cases of trafficking of contraband through the airport have been on the rise.

The international trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after elephant populations in Africa dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to about 600,000 in the 1980s.

Ivory trade is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

East African nations have recently recorded an increase in poaching cases.

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Ivory trafficking