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Man found in possession of leopard skins jailed for 2 years

A Nakuru court has handed a 28-year-old man a two-year sentence with a Sh80,000 fine as an alternative after finding him guilty of being in possession of two leopard skins.

Stephen Kariuki, a boda boda operator, was found guilty of the offense by Senior Resident Magistrate Judicaster Nthuku.

The court heard that a policeman, Michael Kiplagat, received a tip off from a concerned person who informed him that the accused was looking for a buyer to purchase two leopard skins, in May 2015 in Nakuru town.

Mr Kiplagat asked for the accused phone number and later posed as a buyer who was interested in the items.

ARRESTED

The court heard that the accused unknowingly agreed to meet the police officer in a hotel so that they could transact.

Mr Kiplagat in the company of other two police officers arrested the accused who had two leopard skins in a sack on his motorcycle.

The accused in his defense denied being the owner of the animal’s skin stating that they belonged to a customer he had carried on his motorcycle earlier that day.

The magistrate, however, dismissed the claims saying that the accused was not a straightforward person owing to the way he contradicted himself during his defence.

The accused was also facing an alternative charge of transacting “game trophy” without a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).