Man Arrested With Huge Python at Likoni Ferry Channel

UPDATE: February 14, 2020, 2.28 p.m.  A man who was arrested on Tuesday night, February 12 at the Likoni Ferry Channel in possession of a live 2.3-metre python weighing 10 kilograms has been jailed for two years.

"The accused shall pay a fine of Ksh1 million and serve two years imprisonment. I order the python be surrendered to KWS for preservation," ruled Mombasa Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet.

According to a police report quoted by K24 Digital, the man initially identified as Karissa Iha was intercepted by security officers in charge of the scanning system at the ferry entrance. However police later suspected that his real name was Benedict Karissa Fondo.

The suspect was flagged down after x-ray scans revealed a hidden object concealed inside his suitcase.

The python that was found hidden in a man's suitcase at the Likoni Ferry Channel on display at the Ferry Police Station

He was arraigned in court on Thursday, February 14 to face charges of possession of a wildlife species without a permit, which goes against the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act of 2013.

Section 95 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013 restricts citizens from dealing in live wildlife species without a permit.

Offenders convicted of this act are liable to a fine not less than Ksh1 million or an imprisonment term not less than three years or both.

"A person who engages in sport hunting or any other recreational hunting commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not less than twenty million shillings or imprisonment for life; a fine of five million shillings or imprisonment of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment; a fine of one million shillings or imprisonment of two years or to both such fine and imprisonment," reads Section 96 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013

Kenya Wildlife Service in 2017 imposed a ban on exporting of various snake species into different countries.

Species such as the African black python are regularly sold in their black market for their skins and meat.

The suitcase that carried the python hidden by a man trying to cross the Likoni Ferry Channel

Meanwhile, thousands of ferry users could be staring into more confusion at the Likoni Ferry Channel after the Kenya Ferry Services pulled out two ferries namely MV Nyayo and MV Likoni.

KFS officials told the Daily Nation on Wednesday, February 12 that the two vessels were withdrawn due to mechanical problems.

MV Nyayo was withdrawn on Tuesday evening despite a statement announced by the KFS that it would be taken for repairs.

The ferry is among three old vessels serving more than 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles on a daily basis.

MV Harambee was grounded permanently following an incident that claimed the lives of a woman and her daughter in September 2019.

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