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Police nab ‘poachers’, recover 21 tusks

Three poaching suspects were on Monday arrested in a  security operation in Rumuruti, Samburu county.

  Police and Kenya Wildlife Service officers recovered 21 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 57kg and valued at about Sh5 million.

Police said the recovery indicates 11 elephants had been killed, adding that  they are trailing the potential buyer of the tusks, who is based in Nairobi.

The suspects aged 18, 26 and 35 were to be arraigned yesterday.

This is the latest such recovery in the campaign against poaching. Two weeks ago, two suspects were arrested in Kilifi and tusks worth Sh1.9 million recovered.

Kenya has been identified in various researches as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory from Africa, with several incidents of ivory seizures and recovery of wildlife carcasses in recent times.

The arrest comes amid  investigations into the March 2017 seizure of ivory weighing 117kgs in Hanoi, Vietnam, which was reportedly traced back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

In efforts to curb the crime, Kenya has adopted high-tech surveillance equipment including drones to track poaching gangs and wildlife movement.

Parliament has also passed anti- poaching laws while the government has beefed up security at parks to stop poaching, which threatens tourism.

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