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Two men arrested with 183kgs of elephant tusks valued at Sh18 million

Two men are being held in police custody after being arrested with 35 pieces of elephant tusks with a net weight of 183 kilograms estimated to be worth Sh18 million on Tuesday morning in Rabai, Kilifi County.

The two suspects, John Chisiwa Ngoma and Mwauchi Mgaza, were arrested after police officers were tipped off by members of the public.

According to Rabai Police Commander, David Main, the two are in police custody and will be arraigned on Wednesday.

ARRESTED

In another incident, Kenya Police officers in arrested three suspects and recovered 21 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 57 kilograms during a security operation in Rumuruti.

The three were arrested during a security operation in Laikipia County.

Gideon Kibunja, regional criminal investigation commander, said the police and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers had been trailing the suspects before they were detained and the tusks valued at about Sh5 million recovered.

According to the police officers who recovered the tusks, 11 elephants might have been killed.

The suspects aged 18, 26 and 35 years respectively were expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Kenya has been identified in various researches as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa, with several incidents of ivory seizures and recovery of wildlife carcasses in recent times.

POACHING

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, in 2018 the elephant poaching reduced in Kenya by 50 per cent.

Only 40 cases of poaching was reported in 2018 compared to 80 cases in 2017.

The report also noted that the elephant population had increased from 16000 elephant in 1989 to 35,000 elephants in 2018, an increase of 119 percent over a period of 29 years.

In 2019 alone, more than six incidents have been reported of suspects arrested with elephant tusks.

The arrest of suspects with elephant tusks means as a country Kenya continues to loss more elephants everyday.