By Kipchumba Kemei
Narok, Kenya: Police in Narok have seized three pieces of elephant tusks worth more than Sh1.2 million in a private residence outside the town.
The tusks, which police say was to be transported to Nairobi by a taxi, are suspected to have originated from areas bordering Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
The area county commander Samuel Mukindia said the tusks, which were seized on Monday evening from a residential house in Total area where it was hidden, weighed more than 48 kg, adding that the occupants of the house escaped the police dragnet.
“We were tipped off and we laid a trap but when the house occupants realised we were closing in, they escaped through a back door,” said Mukindia.
He added that the owner of the contraband, who had hired a taxi to transport them to the city at night, was alerted about police presence by the occupants, forcing him to abandon the mission.
The operation, the first in the region where poachers have killed dozens of elephants and a black rhinos this year, was being coordinated by Narok North deputy police boss Paul Cheruiyot and the deputy Criminal CID officer Daniel Gatimu.
Mukindia said a hunt for the occupants of the rented house, who escaped moments before the raid, has been launched and asked the public to assist them in giving any information about their whereabouts.
“We have details about them. With the public support, we will definitely apprehend them,” Mukindia said but declined to say how many they were for fear that it would jeopardize investigations.