By Raphael Mwadime
Kenya Wildlife Services has linked influential business people to the illegal ivory trade in the country.
KWS spokesperson Paul Mbugua told the Star during an interview that the recent seizure of 3.3 tonnes of illegal ivory in Mombasa shows the trade involves wealthy people.
“Through our intelligence officers, we have managed to unravel a network of people involved in the illegal ivory trade in the country,” Mbugua said.
He said most of smuggled ivories are seized at the port and no one turns up to claim them. “We cannot reveal the names of those involved in this illegal business,” Mbugua said.
He said ivory and horns from elephant’s and rhinos are shipped out using illegal routes along the porous Kenyan border. “The ivory consignments we have intercepted at our airports and the Mombasa port are usually on transit,” he said.
Mbugua said most border points across the country are porous and boda bodas are used to ferry smuggled goods. Mbugua defended Chinese working in construction companies in the country against claims that they have promoted poaching.
He said most poachers are Kenyans. “No foreigner has so far been arrested,” he said. Kenya has lost 214 elephant’s and 36 rhinos to poachers this year.
Kenya Wildlife Services has linked big influential business people from Western African countries to the Illegal ivory trade in the country. More....