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Indonesian arrested at JKIA with Sh10m ivory

By Hilary Kimuyu October 10th, 2023 2 min read

An Indonesian national aboard flight KQ 571 en route to Jarkata was on Monday, October 9, arrested over illegal possession of 38.4kg of ivory valued at Sh10 million.

The suspect, from Bangui, Central African Republic, was apprehended during a passenger screening at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

A statement from the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) says the security team manning Terminal 1 C discovered the illicit cargo during their normal passenger screening and alerted the police stationed at the airport.

“The vigilant Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) security team at Terminal 1 C discovered the illicit cargo during mandatory passenger screening,” said KAA in a statement.

The seized ivory was impounded by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), dealing a blow to the illegal ivory trade.

Also read: Drugs worth Sh9m smuggled inside bicycle saddled seized at JKIA

Police will be seeking to establish where the wildlife products were obtained from and their destination.

The suspect is in police custody awaiting arraignment in court.

Under the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013, stiffer penalties are imposed on anyone found in possession of a game trophy


The act is tough on offenders

Order: Those who refuse to comply with a wildlife protection order are fined Sh500,000 or jailed for three years.

Killing: Those who kill or mistreat an endangered species can be fined Sh20 million or life imprisonment.

Trafficking: Smuggling trophies can get you life in jail or Sh20 million fine.

Arrested and Fined

In the last few years, cases of foreigners being arrested with ivory at the airport have become common.

Also read: Kenyan passenger used oxygen cylinder on ‘sick’ infant to smuggle Sh54 million gold to India

In August 2019, A Spanish national was arrested at the airport with an ivory bangle weighing 0.025g.

Pich-Aguilera Maria, 50, was arraigned in court and fined Sh1 million and allowed to continue with her journey to Tanzania. The same month, a French national, Laazibi Amal, was also arrested while on transit through JKIA from France to Dzaoudzi Island.

He was found in possession of two elephant ivory bangle, weighing 150 grams but was released after paying a fine of Sh1 million.

In 2020, a Chinese national was fined Sh1 million for being in possession of ivory products after he was re-arrested as he tried to fly out of the country.

Mr Zhang Chunsheng was arrested at JKIA following an order by the High Court stopping him from travelling outside the country until an appeal filed by Director of Public Prosecutions challenged the “light” sentence was determined.

Mr Zhang was first arrested on January 28, 2020 at the JKIA while on his way to Guangzhou, China, from Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He was found in possession of three necklaces, two bracelets, 10 pendants and two rectangular blocks weighing 300 grammes valued at Sh58,000 without permit.

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