Police Arrested Selling Elephant Tusks to DCI Officers

  • A Kenya Wildlife Service Officer inspecting seized ivory.
    A Kenya Wildlife Service Officer inspecting seized ivory.
    File
  • An Administration Police (AP) officer identified as, Simon Otieno, stationed in Endebess, Trans Nzoia County, was arrested on Sunday, July 26, as he tried to sell a piece of an elephant tusk worth Ksh800,000 to Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers who had posed as buyers.

    Officer Otieno was nabbed alongside two other individuals identified as Wycliffe Kiboi Ndiema and Solomon Kibet Simotwa.

    The undercover officers had consulted with their colleagues at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and engineered the sting operation following reports that the AP officer had been working with poachers in the area.

    Peter Ochieng, who serves as the DCI head in Endebess confirmed the arrest and announced that he intended to use the three to unearth the criminal enterprise responsible for despicable atrocities on wildlife.

    Detectives escort three suspects, including a police officer, who were arrested in Endebes, Trans Nzoia County on July 26, 2020.
    Detectives escort three suspects, including a police officer, who were arrested in Endebes, Trans Nzoia County on July 26, 2020.
    Daily Nation

    "The police constable has been involved in many crimes and we have been following his activities for some time now. He was providing security to the poachers," said the DCI boss.

    Having been nabbed with just 15Kgs of tusk, DCI head Ochieng further assured the public that the arrested officer would be compelled to produce the rest of the tusks.

    According to  a survey by the KWS, elephant and rhino poaching has reduced by 90% over the last seven years.

    The report revealed a steady decline in cases of poaching between 2012 and 2018, with documented elephant poaching incidents declining from 384 to 38 in the period of study.

    However, KWS is yet to release statistics for this year, with various envitonmental protection organisations fearing the worst during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Since Covid-19 restrictions went into effect around the world, there has been a surge in bushmeat busts, indicating an increase in poaching activity.

    With rangers striving to find a balance between staying safe from the novel coronavirus and keeping wild animas safe, a loophole has emerged within Kenya's game parks and reserves, which poachers have used for selfish gains.

    On June 14, four suspects were arrested in Ijara area of Garissa County with 150kg of giraffe meat, and carcasses of four dik-diks and two lesser kudus. 

    In 2018, Kenya was delisted from eight countries notorious in poaching and illegal trade in ivory, alongside Uganda, Tanzania, China, Thailand and Philippines.

    As at December 2019, the elephant population within the country stood at over 34,000.

    A KWS officer keeps watch as ivory burns in the background.
    A KWS officer keeps watch as ivory burns in the background.
    CNN
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