The Kenyan government Thursday embarked on investigations to establish how the three tonnes of ivory seized in Thailand escaped security and custom officers at the Port of Mombasa.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment Judi Wakhungu said the illegal cargo was disguised as tea meant for export when it passed the port. She termed the incident as collaboration between international organizations involved in the illegal trade of wildlife products.
“We have embarked on investigating how the cargo escaped our Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and police officers in the port,” she said in Naivasha.
Wakhungu said the container carrying the ivory arrived in the Port of Mombasa on March 24 and left on April 6 before finally arrived in Thailand on April
“We are yet to identify the origin of the cargo as Mombasa is a huge transit point, but we shall determine this during our investigations,” she said.
Thailand seized 3 tonnes of ivory hidden in tea leaf sacks from Kenya in the second-biggest bust in the country’s history. The 511 elephant tusks worth 6 million U.S. dollars, bound for Laos seized upon arrival Saturday at a major port in Chonburi province in eastern Thailand.
Meanwhile, Wakhungu admitted that the fight against poaching could not be won through the use of guns alone. She said that there was need to educate the public on the importance of wildlife conservation and to protect the country’s habitat.
She said there was need to show communities, mainly around game sanctuaries, how they could gain from wildlife conservation. Enditem