Kenya: Convicted Ivory Traffickers Fined Sh13 Million or Serve 10 Years in Prison

24 August 2021

Convicted ivory trafficker Ibrahim Samson Ali has been fined Sh13 million over nine pieces of elephant tusks he was found with three years ago.

Mr Ali was fined Sh10 million for the first offence of dealing in wildlife trophies of an endangered species and another Sh3 million for being in possession of a specified tusk without a permit or lawful exemption.

"In default, the suspect is to serve seven and three years for the two counts respectively," said Mombasa Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti.

Mr Ali was charged alongside Japheth Bakari Mbuguni with trafficking nine pieces of elephant tusks worth Sh650,000.

He had told the court that he was a Moi University student at the time he was arrested with the ivory hidden in a sack full of maize.

The two were found guilty of the offences that they committed on May 16, 2019 at Daba hotel in Mombasa.

Court records show that the suspects travelled with the tusks from Kitale to Mombasa and were intercepted at the Mwembe Tayari stage after alighting from a Tahmeed bus.

The court noted that the evidence was in line with intelligence provided by an informer on how the elephant tusks were safely inserted inside the maize sack.

Mr Ali had said he was surprised when he was stopped and arrested by police when he arrived in Mombasa from Kapenguria, where he lived.

"I do not know Mr Bakari. I only met him at the bus," he said, adding that he previously sold clothes and aloe vera.

He also alleged that the police arrested three people but only the two of them ended up in court.

Mr Bakari, for his part, said he had travelled with his girlfriend from Kitale to Mombasa and was arrested while waiting for her father to pick them up.

He said his girlfriend had been booked to travel by air but she chose to use the bus with him.

"My girlfriend's father asked me to wait for him at Daba hotel, where he was to pick us up but before he could arrive, two vehicles came and we were arrested," he said

The two accused police of failing to supply them with the alleged intelligence report.

Court records show the two were arrested while holding the sack of maize, which was eventually found with the tusks.

Mr Ali previously served jail time in Uganda for a related offense.

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