By Gerald Bwisa, Daily Nation
A police officer and two other men have been arrested in Endebess, Trans Nzoia County after they were found in possession of an elephant tusk weighing 1.5 kilogrammes.
The Administration Police officer, Simon Otieno Ochieng, was arrested in Endebess alongside Mr Wycliffe Kiboi Ndiema and Mr Solomon Kibet Simotwa, both residents of Saboti, with the tusk valued at Sh800,000.
Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) intelligence officers posing as potential buyers arrested the three Sunday as they transported the tusk using a motorbike.
Endebess Sub-County DCI boss Peter Ochieng said the three had been on police radar.
MORE SUSPECTS SOUGHT
“We have them in our custody and we are pursuing more leads to arrest other suspects in the cartel and also get other parts of the tusk,” said the DCI boss.
He added that the operation was conducted by a multi-agency team of KWS officers from Nairobi, DCI and crime busters in the area.
“The police constable has been involved in many crimes and we have been following his activities for some time now. He was providing security to the poachers,” said Mr Ochieng.
According to Trans Nzoia County Police Commander Ayub Ali, the three were in the process of selling the tusk to KWS intelligence officers who had posed as potential buyers.
“The KWS officers and police have been in constant communication with the suspects as we trailed them for arrest. The three will help us arrest other suspects involved in poaching in the area,” said Mr Gitonga.
The police boss noted that once investigations are completed, the suspects will be arraigned.
This comes as a row between KWS officers and residents along the Mt Elgon National Park continues over human-wildlife conflicts.
KWS officers accuse locals of illegal logging and poaching but residents accuse the officers of brutality.
Early this month, four people were injured during an operation by KWS rangers to arrest locals involved in illegal logging.