Two men were on Thursday arraigned in a Narok court charged with being in possession of three pieces of elephant tusks weighing 30 kilograms valued at Sh3million without a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Simon Kipng’eno and Laban Sibilai jointly with others who were not before the court were allegedly found in possession of the game trophies at Oloolamutia area in Narok West Sub County on January 5 this year.
Appearing before the Narok Chief Magistrate George Wakahiu, the duo pleaded not guilty of the offence.
The prosecutor pleaded with the court not to release the duo on bond saying it will be difficult to arrest those who escaped when the two are freed.
The chief magistrate ruled that the case be heard on Monday 11th January to determine whether the duo would be released on bond or not.
Narok is a wildlife county that derives 60 per cent of its revenue from tourism. The county is home to thousands of wildlife including the big five in the famous Maasai Mara and other Wildlife conservancies in the county. But the county has been losing hundreds of this wildlife to poachers.
In 2013 the country came up with strict sentences for wildlife offenders under the new Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 which has imposed stiffer penalties for wildlife related offenses in order to save our wildlife.
The maximum fines of Sh20million or life imprisonment for these offenses by the said new Act seem to have done little to deter the crime.
By Ann Salaton