Three suspects have been arrested in Kericho County after being found in possession of elephant tusks and a rhino horn valued at Sh1.6 million.
Mathew Kipkemoi Maritim, Emmanuel Ngetich and Edi Abdi Kontoma – traders at Litein in Bureti sub county were arrested on Sunday at Kaplong and Litein.
Undercover Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officers from Nairobi, who were posing as buyers, arrested the suspects whom they had been trailing for three months and recovered five elephant tusks and one rhino horn.
Mr Ngetich was arrested at Kaplong trading centre in Bomet County as he sought to sell the trophies to the KWS officers.
Mr Ngetich took the KWS officers to Litein where his accomplices had hidden the other trophies. The three were arrested and taken to Sotik Police Station.
“It is true, the suspects were arrested on Sunday and are in custody. They will be arraigned in court today (Monday),” said Sotik Sub County Police Commander Francis Nganga.
Independent investigations have revealed that Mr Ngetich got in touch with a KWS officer in May this year and asked him to secure a buyer for the trophies. After a well laid plan, the three were lured into a trap that led to their arrest.
It is believed that the trophies originated from poachers in Transmara region in the neighbouring Narok County which forms part of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.