By Dennis Dibondo
Four people arrested on Tuesday with 151 kilos of ivory in Marimanti, Tharaka constituency have been released on Sh5 million bond each or Sh3 million bail.
David Njeru, Kathurima Rugoji, Evans Muriungi and Doreen Karimi were arrested by police and KWS officers with the elephant tusks worth Sh15 million.
The cargo together with bows and poisonous arrows was found in Njeru's semi-permanent house.
Police and KWS officers raided the home early in the morning and arrested the four.
However, the four denied the charges before Marimanti resident magistrate Fredrick Nyakundi.
They requested the judge to reduce the bond or bail since Njeru, Muriungi and Karimi are members of the same family.
Njeru is the father of Muriungi and Karimi, a second year student at Chuka University.
Rugoji from Meru was allegedly the broker marketing the ivory.
Muriungi urged the judge to let him free as he is under medication for blood pressure and liver problem diagnosed at the Nairobi Hospital.
Njeru said he is epileptic while Karimi said she needs to persue her education.
The magistrate, however, said the case is too sensitive to reduce the bond or bail.
"The magnitude of the case does not warrant for what they requested for. Handling or being in possession of elephant trophies is a serious crime in Kenya currently since the jumbos that bring huge revenue to our country are endangered and face extinction due to poaching. Therefore, the court cannot grant the accused's proposal," Nyakundi said.
The case will proceed at the High Court in Meru on September 15.