Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers and police in Nakuru County on Sunday evening unearthed a syndicate believed to be behind a thriving illegal logging and charcoal business targeting indigenous trees in sections of the Mau Forest complex.
Led by Mr Alex Lemarkoko, the deputy chief conservator of Forests in charge of security and protection, the officers seized a lorry ferrying cedar and Elgon teak poles estimated to be worth Sh500,000.
According to Mr Lemarkoko, the timber is believed to have been sourced from Olkurto section of the Maasai Mau Forest in Narok County.
“The lorry was impounded while transporting the timber along the Njoro-Mauche road heading to Nakuru town. Our officers acting on a tip-off from the public moved swiftly and also managed to arrest the driver. The driver is being held at the Nakuru Central Police station and is being interrogated,” said Mr Lemarkoko.
The KFS boss, who was accompanied with Mr Henry Peto, the head of forest protection in the region, revealed that the driver is believed to be working in collaboration with a network of loggers who have been involved in wanton destruction of the Mau Forest and who always evade police dragnets.
Mr Peto called on residents to report any incidents of the illegal business, saying KFS will take stern action against any illegal loggers.
The driver will be arraigned Monday.