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Vietnamese arrested in Kenya for ivory smuggling

13 June 2014, 08:07

Nairobi - A 46-year-old Vietnamese was arrested on Wednesday night by police after he was found to have been smuggling ivory and claws at Namanga border in Kajiado County.

A total of 12 pieces of ivory weighing 50kg, 30 lion's claws and eight incisors teeth were found in a suitcase of the suspect, said Paul Muya, Deputy spokesman of the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS).

"He was arrested by a joint team of KWS and Police officers following a tip-off from the public. It is believed he was travelling from Tanzania to Nairobi through Namanga border post," Muya said.

According to Muya, the suspect was booked at Kajiado Police Station awaiting arraignment in court on Friday.

He said authorities are preparing to press charges against the suspects relating to being in illegal possession and dealing with a trophy of an endangered species.

KWS has recently enhanced security surveillance on smugglers of illicit consignments of wildlife products.

The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Mombasa sea port are believed to be important links on trade routes to international destinations.

Heavily-armed criminals kill elephants and rhinos for their tusks, which are used for ornaments and in some folk medicines.

The conservationists have also decried the entry of organized crime syndicates into the illegal wildlife trade, most notably of rhino horn and elephant ivory, which they said, has created a crisis situation in many African countries.

 - Xinhua

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