Sunday September 27, 2020
Two suspects nabbed with rhino horns. Image:Courtesy.
Two suspects were on Saturday morning arrested at Nairobi’s Eastleigh area with two horns of rhinos.
Kenya Wildlife Service acting head of corporate communications Paul Jinaro said the two were arrested at 9 AM.
“They were arrested by KWS law enforcement officers,” Jinaro said.
Jinaro said the two- a Somali woman and a male whose country of origin is not known were being tracked by agencies for the last three months.“Papers used for making fake Kenyan currency were also found in their possession,” he said.
By the time of going to the press, they were still being interrogated at KWS headquarters by detectives.
The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 makes the handling of wildlife trophies an offence.
The law puts penalties of Sh 20 million fine or imprisonment for life or to both for offences against endangered species.
The arrest happens four days after Kenya joined the rest of the world in commemorating world rhino day.
The day is celebrated on September 22 and focuses on all the five species of rhino: Black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan.
The day was initiated to raise global awareness on the status of and threats facing the species.
Tourism CS Najib Balala on Tuesday last week said the population of black rhinos in the country has increased from less than 400 in 1985 to 794 by the end of 2019 as a result of government efforts.
A bundle of fake money found in possession of the suspects. Image:Courtesy.
Balala, however, said the state won't rest until wildlife trade is stopped.
"It is important that active publicity is maintained to ensure attention is not diluted given the threats still in existence," Balala said.
Globally, there are 27,200 rhinos. Kenya ranks fourth with the highest number of rhinos in the world after South Africa, Namibia and India.
Balala said by last year there were a total of 1,441 Rhinos. This includes 794 black rhinos, 645 white and the remaining two Northern white rhinos.
He disclosed that there were 45 new births in 2020. The CS said the government cannot afford to relax.
“We also need to sustain the gains made to prevent future extinction of rhinos through maintaining high levels of security and surveillance and providing sufficient and dedicated space for breeding,” he said.
The CS said the government will put in all its efforts to stamp out trade in wildlife.
“We have a clear campaign against illegal trade. We need a total ban to stop demand and supply,” Balala said.