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Senior policeman arrested with elephant tusks in Narok

19 August 2014, 10:26

Nairobi - A senior policeman has been arrested with two elephant's tusks worth 71,000 U.S. dollars (KES 6.4M) in Narok.

The Administration Police officer and his suspected accomplice were arrested by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers at Ilkerin Loita area on the outskirt of world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Narok County Sunday evening.

Narok North deputy divisional police commander, Paul Cheruiyot, confirmed the officer was in charge of Loita Administration Police in Narok. The officer be arraigned in court once investigations are completed.

Cheruiyot said the two were arrested following a tip-off from members of the public who alerted the KWS officers who later pounced on the suspects.

"When the officers and rangers approached them in a bush, they started engaging in negotiations and immediately arrested them as the senior police officer tried to flee the scene when he noticed the danger," Cheruiyot said.

He said the officers posed as potential customers before ambushing and arrested them with the 62 kilogrammes of ivory.

He appealed to Kenyans to be vigilant and report those behind poaching activities in the area and help the government's efforts to reduce the vice in the region.

Cheruiyot said police and KWS have heightened surveillance to nab poachers. The discovery comes as there has been an unprecedented surge in the number of elephants killed by poachers for their ivory in the last few years.

Two weeks ago, KWS officers impounded 84 kg of elephant tusks of estimated value of 96,000 dollars and arrested a suspect.

The nine pieces were recovered from a 43-year-old Daniel Muchemi Karanja at Majengo area in Narok town and believed the ivory originated from Maasai Mara game reserve.

Poached ivory is believed to be exchanged for money, weapons and ammunition to support conflicts in the region.

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