- Published: 26/12/2010 at 06:32 PM
- Online news: World
NAIROBI : Kenyan police arrested a Thai woman at Nairobi airport as she checked in for a flight to Bangkok with 20 kilogrammes of illegal ivory, the wildlife service said Sunday.
The woman was arrested Saturday night while in transit from Maputo in Mozambique with 105 pieces of ivory bangles, necklaces and two elephant tusks.
“Our officers were conducting normal operation, screening luggage and searching travellers when they discovered the illegal products,” the Kenya Wildlife Service public relations officer Paul Udoto said.
Local reports did not identify the woman. Airport authorities said a man and a seven-year-old boy were detained briefly but released because there was no evidence directly linking them to the illegal shipment.
Reports said police intercepted the woman while she was checking into a Kenya Airways flight at 11.30pm on Saturday local time, with 105 pieces of ivory bangles, necklaces and raw ivory while on transit from Maputo, Mozambique, to Bangkok. Sniffer dogs are used at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport to find ivory in luggage.
“She is expected to be arraigned before a magistrate at the Makadara Law Courts in Nairobi on Monday morning December 27, 2010,” said the Kenya Wildlife Service Corporate Affairs Officer Paul Udoto in a statement.
The arrest follows another one of a Singaporean national two weeks ago travelling from Lilongwe, Malawi through Nairobi to the same destination.
The latest arrest comes two weeks after Kenyan police apprehended two Bangkok-bound Singaporeans who were checking in 92 kilos of illegal raw ivory at Nairobi airport in transit from from Lilongwe, Malawi.
Kenya, which has successfully repopulated several herds of elephants in recent years, is a major source of smuggled ivory and has seen a rise in poaching lately.
The recent deployment of teams of sniffer dogs at Nairobi airport has facilitated arrests of smugglers of wildlife and wildlife products.
Thailand is a known transit point for the ivory, most of which is then sent to China, where it is used in medicines and ornaments.