Wednesday, 26 September 2012

3 separate ivory seizures in Kenya totalling more than 380 ivory tusks as well as 5 rhino horns

Largest seizure in Kenya in recent history
September 2012. Two suspects were arrested and 317 pieces of raw elephant ivory, weighing 2 tonnes, and five rhino horns were seized at Nairobi Airport. Investigations are continuing over the source and sender and recipient of the illegal cargo, which had been disguised as avocado fruits. 

The tusks may have been collected from natural deaths of about 150 elephants over the last 20 years, and DNA tests will be conducted to determine the tusks actual origin.
The cargo was destined for export to Malaysia via Dubai. The cargo which was falsely declared as containing only fresh avocado fruits was packed in 12 wooden boxes which raised a red flag due to its mode of package, weight and destination.
The ivory was packed amongst avocado fruits and wrapped in black polythene paper and banana leaves in wooden boxes. This packaging was intended to disguise the true content of the cargo to evade security detection. 
This is the largest seizure of elephant ivory in Kenya in the recent past which has caused great concern to law enforcers and conservationists as Kenya continues to experience increased elephant and rhino poaching.
62 pieces ivory seized
On September 14th, 62 pieces of elephant ivory weighing 255 kilograms were seized at Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta Airport (JKIA). The tusks were packed in two metallic boxes, labelled as ‘avocados'. However, they were detected and seized by a joint security team comprising of the Kenya Airports Police Unit, the Kenya Revenue Authority (Customs Department) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
The cargo had been sprayed with pepper and tobacco to avoid detection by sniffer dogs.
Preliminary investigation reveals that the cargo was destined for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, aboard Qatar Airways via Doha.
Third seizure
Police in Kenya also arrested a man who was found with two elephant tusks and four pieces of fake ivory.

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