An Embu magistrate’s court has ordered a driver to pay Sh50,000 fine or be jailed six months after he pleaded guilty to transporting timber from a forest without a valid permit.
Mr Edwin Gitonga Kariuki admitted that he illegally transported mango and neem tree logs worth Sh80,000 on Tuesday night from Embu to Nairobi without a permit.
The prosecution said Mr Kariuki was intercepted by Kenya Forest Service officials at a police roadblock a few minutes past midnight, and arrested.
The forest officials and police officers took Mr Kariuki and the lorry to Embu Police Station.
In mitigation, Mr Kariuki pleaded for a non-custodial sentence, arguing that he was the sole breadwinner of his family and had just been offered a job to transport the logs.
He said the owner of the logs had showed him a permit but had left him to transport the cargo alone.
Chief Magistrate Maxwell Gicheru said the matter was serious as logging in forests had been suspended.
Mr Gicheru directed that the logs be returned to KFS yard.
He also said the lorry should be released to its owner.