Monday, April 10, 2006

The Kenya Wildlife Service Says it Has Broken Up a Syndicate Dealing in Ivory and Other Illegal Animal Products

Let’s hope this isn’t just one of those once a year events made to appease international observers. Let’s hope it’s a concerted and continuous effort.


Kenya swoops on 'ivory syndicate'

Elephant poaching is a serious problem in Kenya

The Kenya Wildlife Service says it has broken up a syndicate dealing in ivory and other illegal animal products.

Officials say 14 people were held and 160kg (350lb) of ivory seized.

Those arrested, seven Italians, six Kenyans and one Tanzanian, have been charged with illegal hunting and possessing trophies without a licence.

Kenya, where wildlife tourism is a key revenue source, supports a global ban on the ivory trade to combat a chronic problem with elephant poaching.

The arrests and seizures were made in three separate operations. KWS said:

* A Tanzanian was held with 5kg (11lb) of ivory near Kajiado in southern Kenya
* An Italian was detained in the coastal city of Mombasa with 158kg (350lb) of ivory and other animal products
* Six Italians and six Kenyans were arrested and two buffalo carcasses recovered in a location not revealed by KWS

"We want to assure the public that KWS is putting every possible effort in the fight against wildlife-related crimes," a KWS statement said.

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