By Joseph Akwiri
Kenyan officials have impounded another large consignment of smuggled elephant ivory barely a week after intercepting a similar haul, highlighting the rise of poaching in Africa.
The ivory, weighing 3.3 tonnes and valued at 65 million shillings ($748,400), was impounded this week. It had been wrapped in gunny sacks and declared as groundnuts being shipped to Malaysia from Kenya's capital, Nairobi, officials said on Tuesday.
"From the ivory we see displayed, we can clearly conclude that this haul amounts to over 200 elephants that were killed," said Fatuma Yusuf, a senior Kenya Revenue Authority official whose team discovered the ivory at the port.
Two other containers suspected of containing ivory are due for inspection, officials at the port city of Mombasa, east Africa's main trade gateway, said.
The seized consignment comprised 382 whole pieces and 62 cut pieces of ivory. Together with the ivory inside the container were unprocessed groundnuts.
On Wednesday, officials seized 775 pieces of ivory weighing 1.3 tonnes, also at the port, hidden under fish and destined for Malaysia from Uganda.
Poaching has risen in recent years across sub-Saharan Africa where well armed criminal gangs have killed elephants for tusks and rhinos for their horns that are often shipped to Asia for use in ornaments and medicines. More....