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Ivory smugglers slapped with 5-years imprisonment

Two men have been convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by a Loitoktok law court for dealing in animal trophy.

Bilas Venance Shayo a resident of Meto in Tanzania and Joseph Mutisya a resident of Kalungu in Kibwezi, Makueni County were convicted and sentenced by Resident Magistrate Samuel Ndungu.

The duo was charged that on January 28, 2022, they were found with 21 kilograms of ivory with a street value of Sh 2.1Million at Munyura area in Rombo Division, Loitoktok Sub County.

Daudi Muhammed, Kenya Wildlife Service officer attached to Loitoktok told the court how on the material day the office received an intelligence report that there were two men who were looking for a buyer of ivory.

Muhammed said they proceeded to Rombo as a team of four officers in two vehicles, a government car and a taxi.

They then abandoned the government vehicle with two officers while the other two proceeded to where they were directed by their informer.

They met the two accused and they pretended to be prospective buyers and requested the two to get into the car with their luggage.

Once in the vehicle the accused were arrested and upon inspection of their luggage, a sack, they discovered two ivory tusks.

The two, together with exhibits were escorted to Ilasit Police Station where they were booked and charged with possession of wildlife trophy.

They were later arraigned in court where they denied the allegations.

In their defence they told the court they were not connected with possession of the trophies.  However, the court found the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

The accused have 14 days to appeal against the sentence.

By Kimani Tirus and Kaaka Koromo

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