By Ponciano Odongo
Namanga, Kenya: Police at the Namanga border point have arrested a 46-year-old man of Vietnamese origin with animal trophies worth about Sh6 million.
The man is said to have been ferrying the trophies to Nairobi from Arusha, Tanzania.
Kenya Wildlife Service ( KWS) Kajiado Warden Elema Hapicha said the trophies weighed about 55Kgs. The man, Bui Dang Khoa, carrying his wares in three suitcases, is said to have have been planning to either take a flight from Nairobi to his country or use Kenya as a transit point.
According to the police, Mr Khoa was in the company of two others, who managed to escape a police dragnet.
Among the items found in the suitcases were 12 pieces of ivory, 30 pieces of lion’s claws and eight lion’s canine teeth.
The trophies were wrapped in paper and aluminium foils and then nicely covered with tissue paper. Residents at the border post became sceptical about the suitcases and tipped the police who arrested and confiscated the wildlife parts.
“We suspect the person could be part of a wide network of poachers in Tanzania,” said Mr Hapicha.
The suspect told The Standard he had been in the country for the last 10 days, touring parts of Mount Kilimanjaro with his girl friend, who at the time of arrest was in Nairobi.