Kenya’s security agencies have seized two more containers full of ivory, after authorities vowed to increase surveillance at all entry points to the East African nation, Shanghai Daily reports.
The two containers originated from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and were destined for Malaysia. They weighed more than 3,287 tons, comprising 382 whole pieces and 62 cut pieces of ivory with a street value of $755,000. The consignment had been declared as 240 bags of groundnuts.
Only a few hours earlier, Kenya’s security authorities had seized a container full of ivory disguised as groundnuts at the Port of Mombasa, in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and police.
According to KWS, 200 poachers have been killed in a span of three months and firearms have been recovered at major national parks since the war on ivory was stepped up. Armed criminals kill elephants and rhinoceroses for their tusks, which are used for ornaments and in some folk medicines. It is believed that poached ivory is exchanged for money, weapons and ammunition to support conflicts in the region.
“We committed our country by signing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to curb ivory trade or we risk sanction,” said Arthur Tuda, KWS director for the coast region, in an interview with a Shanghai Daily reporter. “It’s national obligation to ensure that we are not branded as a country that support illegal trade in ivory.”