Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ivory Poaching Boss Convicted

Kenya has finally prosecuted to a successful conclusion a high level trafficker in ivory.  Conservationists say this is the first such case in Kenyan history.  Feisal Ali Mohamed was sentenced last Friday to twenty years in prison and fined $200,000 for dealing in nearly half million dollars in illegal ivory.  That amount of poached ivory represents the lives of at least 120 elephants.  The judge in the case acquitted five others charged with Mohamed, finding they were "unknowingly" involved in Mohamed's illegal transactions.  He was arrested in Mombasa in June 2014 attempting to move more than two metric tons of ivory. He escaped there but was rearrested in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania in December.  INTERPOL had placed him on a wanted list a month before.    Poaching has become more systematic and sophisticated now that international crime gangs dominate the trade.  The court case was a challenging one with three different magistrates hearing it. Another case for evidence tampering in Mohamed's prosecution is ongoing. Mohamed's lawyers will appeal his conviction.