Kenya says contraband ivory seized in Thailand originated from DRC

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 2, 2012
Adjust font size:

Kenya says contraband ivory seized in Thailand originated from DRC

NAIROBI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan authorities on Wednesday confirmed the contraband ivory which was seized in Thailand last month originated from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and not from Kenya as earlier reports said.

"KWS, Kenya police and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) officials trailing the origin of the ivory seized by Thai custom officials found that the illegal cargo was on transit from Kinshasa, DRC," Kenya Wildlife Service said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Initial media reports had erroneously claimed the ivory originated from the east African nation where incidences of elephant poaching have been on the rise.

The statement came after Thai customs officials on July 13 discovered 456 kg of 158 ivory tusks which had been hidden in crates aboard a flight from Kenya.

The shipment is said to have arrived in Kenya from Kinshasa, DRC, as a transit cargo destined for Bangkok, Thailand on board KQ550.

The tusks were packed in six wooden boxes, some of them cut off in pieces and declared as "handicraft."

The consignee is said to have been Johnson Controls Air Express, a large freight company with registered address 78/39 Moo. 9, Tambon Pluakdaeng, Ampher Pluakdaeng, Rayong 21140, Thailand.

According to media reports, Vietnam officials also arrested two Vietnamese passengers who had 137 kg of ivory in the same week.

Rampant poaching incidents have forced KWS to embrace the use of modern technologies under its force modernization program to counter the problem and other poaching-related threats.

KWS said it has introduced the Canine Unit with sniffer dogs on a 24-hour basis at the Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi and Moi International Airport in Mombasa to detect movements of illegal ivory. The unit has since 2009 netted more than eight tonnes of raw and worked ivory.

This, according to the wildlife agency, has effectively led to reduced smuggling of illegal trophies. Plans are at an advanced stage by KWS to introduce sniffer dogs at the Eldoret International Airport as well as other exit and entry points.

Stiffer penalties related to wildlife crime have been incorporated under the proposed wildlife law to deter poaching- related cases and incidents in Kenya. Enditem

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from