Poaching is on the rise in Kenya because of prevalent conflicts and the presence of militia groups in the region, a report by a lobby shows.
A report by the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) says continual conflicts and presence of organised gangs have been fuelling “environmental crime” because it is the easiest way to fund their activities.
“Illegal trade and poaching of wildlife and plants alone is estimated to be worth $5–20 billion annually, and this money is often used to help finance conflicts,” the report, Elephants in the Dust; the African elephant crisis notes in part.
“Environmental crime is particularly attractive to these groups when compared with other forms of criminal activity because of its high profit margin coupled with a low probability of being caught and convicted.”
The report does not mention specific gangs in Kenya, but notes that the country through the port of Mombasa is often a conduit for ivory from elephants killed in conflict areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic and Sudan.
These countries also suffer from other environmental crime such as logging, illegal mining, dumping of toxic waste and illegal fishing to finance activities of militia groups.
Although Kenya has put in place sufficient laws against organised crime, EITIS observes that the lure of the profits and the fact that one could easily walk away by bribing officials at the port, immigration or the police inspires continued poaching. More....