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Ireland updates travel advisory to Kenya after double Sh1m JKIA ivory fines

Ireland has updated its travel advisory to Kenya after two Europeans were fined Sh1 million each following their arrest at JKIA with ornaments made from ivory.

The advice follows two back-to-back high-profile prosecutions of people caught with bangles made from ivory.

“Possession of ivory in any form is a crime in Kenya and can result in a large fine or imprisonment. This is an offence of strict liability, which means that there is no defence which can be offered,” Irish department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says in part. The advice was updated on Wednesday August 21, 2019.

On August 20, Pich-Aguilera Maria, a 50-year-old Spanish national who had been arrested the previous day at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with an ivory bangle weighing 0.025g was released after paying a Sh1 million court fine.

A week earlier, a French national Laazibi Amal was also fined Sh1 million for being in possession of an ivory bangle weighing 0.85 grams.

The Irish government updated the travel advice on Wednesday.

“Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal,” adds the advice.