By Martin Mwita, Charles Mghenyi
Kenya's port of Mombasa is being used as the major transit route for the ferrying of illegal ivory from the East and Central Africa region, the Star has learnt. This was revealed following the interception of a second consignment within the last six days on Monday.
Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Revenue Authority and police officials confirmed that 444 pieces of ivory weighing 3.3 tons enroute to Malasyia was intercepted. This is the biggest haul impounded this year so far, with an estimated value of Sh65 million.
The consignment was packed and labelled as groundnut bags and was intercepted after the customs official became suspicious of its content. There has been an increase in the number of ivory consignments being intercepted at the port by KRA.
Reports have also emerged that the recent seizures of ivory consignments at the port involves an intricate syndicate that includes different officials. It is feared that intercepted consignment are diverted and repacked for sale in order to earn millions after being impounded and verified.
KRA officials have intercepted two containers of ivory in the last six days being ferried through the port. Last week, a container which had 775 pieces of raw ivory and six bags of worked ivory was impounded at a private yard at Changamwe, Mombasa.
The ivory which had a street value of Sh29 million originated from Kampala, Uganda, was declared as sun dried fish maws and was destined for Portklanga west port Ehsan, in Malaysia. More....