The Attorney-General has written to the Thai Government seeking details of ivory seized in Bangkok in April.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti told the Nation that Thailand was expected to provide details of those behind the shipment of the ivory valued at Sh576 million.

I am aware of the legal assistance where we need details of exporters and importers, country of origin among other vital aspects of the case, Mr Muteti said.

He said immediately Thai authorities give their response, a team would be sent to Bangkok to reship the ivory to Kenya.

ORGANISED CRIME

On Wednesday, Thai officials destroyed two tonnes of ivory, with Kenya’s ambassador Patrick Wamoto invited to the ceremony.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O- Cha presided over the country’s first ivory destruction.

He said it was aimed at sending a message to poachers, traffickers and traders that the Kingdom had zero tolerance to the killing of elephants.

We will not allow Thailand to be part of such abhorrent acts, he said.

He added that the destruction of the ivory was aimed at ensuring that it would not find its way back into the market.

Mr Wamoto said he was assured that the three tonnes of ivory shipped to Thailand through Mombasa was not part of what had been destroyed.

The government has requested assistance from Thailand to have the ivory shipped back to Kenya to be used as exhibit in a case before a Mombasa court.

The ambassador said he used the occasion to thank the PM and the country’s environment ministry for supporting Kenya’s efforts in saving elephants and rhinos.

SACKS OF TEA

The government intends to use the reshipped ivory as exhibit in a case against Mr Abdulrahman Sheikh, Mr Sheikh Abdulrahman, Mr Sheikh Mahmoud Abdulrahman, Mr Musa Jacob Lithare, Mr Nicholas Mweri Jefwa, Mr Samwel Bakari Jefwa and Mr Samuel Mundia.

The seven are accused of exporting 511 pieces of ivory to Thailand and Singapore without a licence.

They are also charged with dealing in parts of an endangered species without a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service.

The prosecution said the seven, who are also charged with engaging in organised crime, committed the offences on March 15 and May 20 in Mombasa.

The seized ivory was found hidden in sacks of tea.

It was tracked for months as it passed through Sri-Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore ports before being impounded in Bangkok.

Thai customs officials also seized another consignment of ivory weighing four tonnes, shipped from Mombasa. Its origin is believed to be the DR Congo.

The destroyed ivory was part of a stockpile whose investigations had been completed. It was shredded and incinerated on the outskirts of Bangkok.

Thailand has introduced penalties of up to four years imprisonment for those found engaging in illegal wildlife trade or in possession of African elephant ivory.