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Man fined KES 20 million for possessing elephant tusks

12 August 2015, 11:44 Joseph Njung'eh

Nyeri - A man has been fined KES 20 million or in default serve five years in jail by a Nanyuki court after he was found guilty of illegal possession of ivory.

John Kiunjuri Kamau, who was convicted by Principal Magistrate Waititu Gichimo, was co- charged with John Mugambi and Daniel Silipen who were acquitted by the court.

The three were allegedly found with four pieces of elephant tusks weighing 20 kilograms, all worth KES 2 million on July 17, 2014 at Timau area in Meru.

Justine Kinyua, a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officer based in Laikipia KWS offices, had told the court how he received information that a motorcycle suspected to be carrying ivory was heading to Timau Town.

After receiving the details of the motorcycle and its riders, he set off for Timau in the company of another officer.

Read also: Two suspected poachers gunned down at Solio Ranch

They laid an ambush and when the motorcycle arrived, they found Kamau holding a sack containing the trophies.

They were arrested and escorted to Timau police station and later arraigned on the charges, which they denied.

In their defense, Mugambi said he was a boda boda operator and had been hired by Kamau to take him to Timau.

Silipen told the court that he was given a ride by Mugambi on his to Timau to buy drugs for his livestock.

The court gave benefit of doubt to Mugambi and Silipen hence acquitted them, but Kamau could not explain how the sack came into his hands and was thus convicted.

In mitigation, the convict pleaded for leniency.

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