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Man jailed for 10 years for ivory possession

A court in Kajiado has sentenced a man to 10 years imprisonment without the option of a fine for being in possession of elephant tusks.

            Christopher Watia, who appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Becky Cheloti, was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to the charge of dealing in wildlife trophies contrary to section 92(2) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (WCMA) 2013.

            Watia was arrested by a joint security team in Namanga on November 13, 2020 while in possession of three pieces of elephant tusks weighing approximately 3 kilograms with a street value of Sh. 1.2 million.

            He was charged jointly with his co-accused Suyanga Merin who denied the charge and the hearing of his case set for May 7, 2021.

            At the same court, eight men were charged with dealing in meat of wildlife species contrary to section 98(1) of the WCMA 2013.

            The eight, who were among 12 men arrested during an operation on September 22, 2020, were found in possession of giraffe meat valued at a street price of Sh. 200,000.

            A multi –agency team ambushed the suspects at Lepai area in Mashuuru transporting the game meat on wheel barrows after slaughtering the animal. They were sentenced to serve 8 months in prison or pay a fine of Sh. 50,000 each.

            Four other accused persons had pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to pay a fine of Sh. 30,000 or serve a jail term of 3 months in default.

by Rop Janet

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