Police investigations indicate she bought ivory pieces from Said Adan Abdi, one of the suspected kidnappers on November 20, 2018, moments before she was abducted from her hotel room by three armed men.
Romano was also in constant communication with one of the kidnappers a few days prior to her abduction.
Italian aid worker Silvia Romano
Police believe that she was abducted after failing to pay Abdi for illegal ivory which had been supplied to her and smuggled out of the country since April 2017.
According to People Daily, Romano had received several text messages from Abdi, threatening her that she should pay them their money by end November.
“We highly suspect that she was dealing in ivory trade and police investigations now indicate that she had not paid for huge amount of ivory.
"The ivory had been supplied to her by one of her abductors, and despite having sold it outside Kenya, she never honoured her promise of paying her suppliers,” an officer privy to the investigation disclosed.
It is reported that her kidnappers are demanding a ransom to recover their money in the ivory smuggling syndicate.
Police have now changed focus on Romano’s kidnapping relating it to terrorist retaliation.
A KWS officer was arrested in December in connection with the abduction.
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