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Kenya awarded for efforts against poaching

11 July 2014, 12:29

Nairobi - China, Kenya and the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) have been awarded Certificates of Commendation for collaborative efforts to tackle an international criminal syndicate smuggling ivory from Kenya to China.

The joint action occurred during Operation COBRA II – an international wildlife law enforcement operation involving 28 countries that took place in January 2014 – and resulted in the extradition of a Chinese national from Kenya to China and the arrest of more than 20 smugglers and domestic ivory traders in China implicated in the activities of the syndicate.

According to a Kenya Wildlife Service statement, “the Certificates of Commendation presented to China’s National Inter-agencies CITES Enforcement Coordination Group on behalf of Chinese authorities, Kenya Wildlife Service on behalf of Kenyan Authorities and the Lusaka Agreement Task Force recognized the exemplary collaboration, including the daily exchange of real-time intelligence, which underpinned the joint investigation.”

The Certificates were presented at an International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) event taking place as part of the 65th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee being held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 7-11 July. Two events were held by ICCWC, with the first highlighting the consortium’s efforts to increase the use of modern forensic technology in combating wildlife crime and the second covering ICCWC tools to support effective wildlife law enforcement at a national level and a synopsis of Operation COBRA II.

The recognition comes after the country’s conservation has received a beating from poachers which target elephants and rhinos for their ivory.

This is notwithstanding the government’s concerted effort against poaching which has continually received additional funding. In May nine custom-made land cruisers were deployed to the ant-poaching elite crack Unit.

The Unit is comprised of security personnel from the general Service Unit, Administration police and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

KWS Acting Director General William Kiprono flagged off the nine Land Cruisers at KWS headquarters during a ceremony attended by among others KWS deputy directors, managers and staff at headquarters in May.

- CAJ News

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