On Tuesday Chinese national Tang Yang Jian was fined Sh20 million for ivory smuggling, or serve seven years in jail.
He was caught with a single tusk worth Sh65,000 at JKIA, en route from Mozambique to China.
Historically smugglers have been given derisory fines in the Kenyan courts. The worst case scenario was to pay Sh20,000 and walk free after spending a few nights in jail. The best case scenario was to make a fortune selling elephant tusks or rhino horn.
No wonder poaching ran out of control in Kenya.
Now the new Wildlife Act imposes very stiff penalties on smugglers. Tang will struggle to raise Sh20 million or $235,000. He is likely to spend a long time in Kamiti prison.
If police arrest offenders, if these fines are consistently enforced by the courts, and if the Prisons service does not give them probation too quickly, poachers and smugglers will soon learn that it is not worth trading in Kenyan ivory or rhino horn.
The Tanzanian tourist industry has recently overtaken Kenya. If we protect our wildlife, Kenya can soon recover its leadership of tourism in East Africa.
The Kenyan courts should stay tough and continue to impose punitive fines on ivory smugglers.
Quote of the day: "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. " - Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933.