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Kenya court charges key ivory trafficker with illegal trade

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A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger standing guard in front of an illegal ivory stockpile at Tsavo National Park, southeast of the capital, Nairobi.

A court in Kenya has charged an ivory trafficker with the illegal trade and smuggling of elephant tusks.

Judicial sources said Wednesday that Feisal Ali Mohamed was charged in a court in Mombasa, the country’s second-largest city.

The charges include “dealing and possession of elephant tusks” weighing more than two tons.

Lawyers say Mohamed will remain in custody until December 30 when a bail hearing is set.

He was listed as one of the nine most wanted environmental criminals by Interpol in November.

Police were searching for Mohamed since the seizure of more than 200 elephant tusks in the port city back in June.

Mohamed was arrested in the Tanzanian city of Dar-es-Salaam last week and was handed over to the Kenyan authorities.

Environmental authorities say Mohamed is probably responsible for the deaths of thousands of elephants not just in Kenya, but across Africa.

Figures show that in 2013, 302 elephants were slaughtered in Kenya by poachers. More than 11,000 elephants were killed in northeastern Gabon between 2004 and 2013, over 300 elephants were slaughtered in Cameroon in the last two months of 2012, and 86 elephants were slain in Chad in less than a week in March 2013.

In a report to the United Nations Security Council, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said last year that the illegal trade has become a major source of funding for armed groups in the volatile regions across Africa.

Both African and Asian elephants are listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as CITES, which strictly controls the trade in ivory and ivory products.


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