JKIA police seize ivory worth Sh6.4 million on transit from Mozambique to Thailand

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Pieces of ivory (photo: Standard News Group)

Nairobi, Kenya: Police at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have seized a transit cargo that had ivory valued at Kshs 6.4 million. The cargo was from Maputo, Mozambique and destined for Bangkok, Thailand. According to police the ivory was concealed in a luggage that had been disguised as gemstones.

Police say the 18 pieces of raw ivory was discovered at the screening centre prompting the seizure. Airport head of DCI Joseph Ngisa said there were 22 stones in the cargo but two of them had ivory. “The rest were just stones disguised as gemstones. There were no gemstones,” said Ngisa.

No arrest has been made after the Tuesday seizure. Authorities in Mozambique have been alerted and asked to pursue the case and get those behind the incident. “We have asked the Mozambique officials to investigate the matter and take necessary action,” said Ngisa.

The seizure is the latest in a series to happen in the region. The development comes ahead of the planned destruction of 120 tonnes of ivory at Nairobi National Park on April 30, the largest stockpile to be destroyed at a go by any country.

This will be the climax of a summit involving heads of state, conservation experts, philanthropists and corporate leader including Richard Branson, that President Uhuru Kenyatta has set for April 29-30.

The aim of the summit to take place at Mount Kenya Safari Club in Laikipia is to develop a continent-wide response to illegal-wildlife trade. Last week, a suspect was arrested in Nairobi after being found with 39 elephant tusks valued at more than Sh11 million.