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Police seize 96kg ivory haul

Friday April 29 2011

A ranger displays elephant tusks intercepted from poachers during a commemoration of the 1989 ivory burning at the Nairobi National Park. A Chinese national was arrested in Nairobi with 96.5kg of ivory April 28, 2011. FILE

A ranger displays elephant tusks intercepted from poachers during a commemoration of the 1989 ivory burning at the Nairobi National Park. A Chinese national was arrested in Nairobi with 96.5kg of ivory April 28, 2011. FILE 

By NATION Reporter

A Chinese national was arrested Thursday night in Nairobi with 96.5kg of ivory.

The man was apprehended at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on transit from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Police said he will be charged with possession of illegal ivory at the Makadara Law Courts Friday.

In early April, a consignment of elephant tusks shipped from Kenya was intercepted by authorities in Thailand.

The 247 tusks worth over $3.3 million (Sh274 million), and weighing two tonnes were disguised as frozen fish.

The tusks were concealed among hundreds of boxes of mackerel, in a boat at Bangkok Port on the Chao Phraya River, Thai customs department said.

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The haul, which officials said was the biggest in a year and equated to at least 123 elephants killed, weighed 2,033 kg.

Another 2,000kg of elephant tusks, shipped through the Mombasa Port were seized in Vietnam in May last year.

Investigations showed the ivory originated from Selous National Park, one of the biggest conservation centres in Tanzania.

In February, police at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport seized two foreigners, travelling on Singapore passports, as they attempted to leave Kenya with 92kg of ivory.

The raw ivory was packed in four suitcases and the suspects were headed to Bangkok.