8 January 2019

Kenya: Live Tortoise and Dog Meat Seized As 3 Chinese Arrested

Photo: Joseph Muraya/Capital FM
KWS officials were called in to rescue the tortoise from the apartment in Kilimani, Nairobi during the Tuesday raid.

Nairobi — A live tortoise, large quantities of dog meat and ivory pieces are among items recovered during a police raid at an apartment occupied by 3 Chinese nationals in Nairobi's Kilimani area.

The three foreigners and a Kenyan were arrested during the raid on Tuesday, that also netted contraband goods that include cigarettes worth more than Sh2 million shillings and alcoholic drinks.

Of the Chinese arrested, police said, 2 are men and a woman while the Kenyan is a man but none of their identities were immediately released to local and international journalists who camped there.

"We have recovered 2 ivory tusks, a rhino horn, wildlife trophies among other things," a senior police officer told journalists during the raid at Aberdare Court on Kayahwe Road, off Dennis Pritt Road in Nairobi, where the Chinese are said to have been living for the past 10 years.

The raid was carried out by a multi-agency team drawn from detectives, officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Kenya Revenue of Authority.

Police said they suspect the large quantities of meat was from dogs and other wild animals, with investigations now being undertaken jointly, with Public Health officials.

Most of the police officers who were at the scene were not willing to divulge details of the raid that was supervised Kilimani CID chief Fatuma Abdi.

When contacted, Nairobi CID Chief Nicholas Kamwende told Capital FM News that they were still analyzing the recoveries from the house before commenting further.

"We shall give you more details once the analysis and investigations is completed because we are working with other experts," he said on telephone.

Nairobi Deputy Regional Police Commander Richard Kerich, who visited the scene and left after briefing journalists, said the suspects will be taken to court.

"We shall interrogate them before charging them in court," he said, without elaborating.

It all started when public health officers in the company of police officers went to the house to confirm whether the foreigners were running a slaughterhouse within a residential area, following complaints from neighbours.

The officers said they were faced by violent resistance from the Chinese nationals, who claimed that they work for a senior politician.

"They told us to return from where we had come from if we love our jobs," a junior police officer, who cannot be named for fear of victimization, told Capital FM News at the scene.

Another officer said, "they manhandled our colleague. They alleged to be architects currently building a house for the powerful politician."

The officers later called for a back-up from Kilimani Police Division, who subdued the suspects and commenced a search that lasted more than 8 hours.

"The house was extremely dirty. How can people survive in such an environment?" one of the officers who took part in the operation said of the strong stench from the house.

"It has been hell living here. They usually bring the meat and other stuff at night using a grey van," one of the neighbours, who declined to give her name.

Apart from the tortoise, the Chinese were also keeping two black pets and a dog.

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