Kenya: Court Freezes Car, Residential Block Belonging to Suspected Poacher Bishop Burugu

Mar 7, 2024 | News

By Kahawatungu

A Nairobi court has frozen ownership of a Mercedes Benz and a block of residential flats built on prime land within Allsops area in Ruaraka belonging to televangelist and businessman Jackson Mbugua Burugu.

This is in connection with a case of poaching that is pending in court.

Lady Justice Diana Kavedza of the Nairobi Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division issued the freezing order following a suit filed by the Asset Recovery Agency.

Burugu is a prominent Nairobi-based televangelist who is commonly referred to as ‘Bishop’.

Bishop together with a group of friends David Ndiritu, Luso Lesitima and Daniel Mboche are accused of poaching.

They are notorious for accessing Oljogi conservancy in Laikipia to hunt and kill wildlife for their trophies.

ARA says Bishop laundered money to the tunes of millions of shillings from the sale of wildlife trophies and sandalwood harvesting.

Bishop together with David Ndiritu, Daniel Kibe Mboche and Jackson Luso Lesitima have another ongoing case before Nanyuki Law Courts where they are facing a charge of Dealing in Wildlife trophies contrary to the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act of 2013.

According to the charge sheet, Burugu and his co-accused were arrested by Kenya Wildlife Service officers on 6th October 2021 at Enasoit area, within the expansive Oljogi Conservancy in Laikipia county while in possession of 70 kills of raw ivory with a street value of Sh7 million.

“On the 6th day of October 2021 at around 1600hrs, at Enasoit area in Oljogi conservancy within Laikipia were found in dealing in wildlife trophies of an endangered namely 4 elephant tusk weighting approximately 69.2 kgs without a permit,” the charge sheet read.

The judge issued a preservation order prohibiting Burugu, his employees, agents, servants or any other persons acting on his behalf from transacting/withdrawing/transferring and/or dealing in any manner howsoever in respect of motor vehicle registration number KBE416Y, Mercedes Benz.

She ordered Burugu to surrender to ARA the original logbook for the motor vehicles registration within seven days from February 29.

She directed the Director General National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to immediately register a caveat in respect of the said motor vehicle.

The judge issued a preservation order prohibiting Burugu, his employees, agents or any other persons acting on his behalf from selling/charging/mortgaging/transferring and/or dealing in any manner of plot Numbers 76B and 156B Mathare North Commercial Zone and all income accruing from the development thereon.

She directed the Chief Land Registrar and Nairobi County Lands Registrar to register caveats in respect of the said parcels of land.

She directed all rental income accruing from the parcel of land and development to be paid to ARA bank account for preservation during the period which the orders are in force.

The orders shall remain in force for 90 days as provided in section 84 of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA).

This is seen as part of efforts to fight poaching in the country.

Elephant tusks fetch a fortune in the black market as a surge in demand for ivory in the East continues to fuel the illicit trade in elephant tusks, especially from Africa.

Officials say despite a ban on the international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers.

As part of efforts to stop the menace, Kenya has started using high-tech surveillance equipment, including drones, to track poachers and keep tabs on elephants and rhinos.

KWS and stakeholders have put in place mechanisms to eradicate all forms of wildlife crime, particularly poaching.

These mechanisms include enhanced community education, interagency collaboration, and intensive intelligence-led operations, among others.

These efforts led to zero rhino poaching in Kenya in 2020-the first time in about two decades.

At least 20,000 elephants are killed annually in Africa for their ivory. This translates to 55 elephants killed daily or one elephant killed every 26 minutes with a population of 35,000 elephants.

On April 30, 2016, Kenya set ablaze 105 tonnes of elephant ivory and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn.

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