By Clause Masika, The Star
A man was yesterday arraigned in a Kibera court for trying to sell two elephant tusks valued at Sh300,000 to undercover police officers.
Jesse Mwangi Karanja was arraigned before senior resident magistrate Renee Kitagwa.
According to the charge sheet Karanja committed the offence on Jun 23, 2020, at Shell petrol station in Karen, Nairobi county.
The charge sheet says the tusks weighed three kilograms.
While testifying in court corporal Lydia Njeri from Kenya Wildlife Service told the court that she was with her colleague when they received some intelligence report on the suspects.
“I was on my normal duty at my office when I was briefed alongside my colleague by our boss that there were people planning to sell elephant tusks in Karen town,” she said.
She told the court that they left the office immediately using their undercover vehicle with an objective of arresting the suspects.
She said moments after arriving, the suspect alongside two others came riding a motor cycle registration number KMDF 009F.
She said the suspected poachers were coming from Dagoretti and they had strategised on how to arrest them.
Njeri said that they arrested the suspects after using the description as given by their informers.
“At around 12:50 pm, a motor vehicle carrying the alleged poachers arrived and it had only one passenger with a brown bag with black patches,” she told the court.
She testified that the suspect was arrested and tafter conducting a search on him and they found two elephant tusks valued at Sh300, 000.
The court heard that other suspects escaped after realising that they were going to be arrested but they were later apprehended.
The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges and asked for a lenient bond term.
He argued the court to consider his plea since he is not a flight risk and was going to abide by all the terms and conditions.
He also asked the court to grant him witness statements and documentary statement that the prosecution was going to rely on.
The magistrate released him on Sh50, 000 cash bail or a bond of Sh200, 000 with the surety of the same amount.
The said case will proceed further next month where more witnesses will testify before the prosecution closes.