Two poachers in Kenya sentenced to pay US$1 million each or else face life in prison

Two poachers in Kenya

A magistrate’s court in Narok, a town seen as the springboard to the Masai Mara Game Reserve with a string of conservancies around it, has handed down the toughest sentence yet on two Kenyan men convicted of illegal possession of ivory, illegal trading of ivory, and related charges.

Both were sentenced to either pay 100 million Kenya shillings (close to US$1 million) each or else serve a life sentence in prison. This ruling is in stark contrast to many other previous sentences handed down by magistrates, where culprits walked away with token fines, often leading to suggestions that the magistrates presiding over those cases were gotten at.

The most recent such flurry of allegations erupted across Kenya’s social media last week when the magistrate handling the case of the alleged ivory kingpin, Feisal, in total disregard to an existing High Court order, granted bail to the accused, who was only apprehended after a long manhunt involving Interpol. While the magistrate’s ruling was squashed by the High Court following a public outcry, allegations of foul play and prompt intervention by the Kenyan Director of Public Prosecutions, all eyes will now be on the magistrate as to how he conducts the ongoing hearing of the case, and every single ruling will be under the spotlight.

The Narok ruling attracted instant global attention, and while the two have 14 days to appeal the sentence, the magistrate’s decision has validated the several interactions between conservation groups, public prosecutors, the Kenya Wildlife Service, and magistrates and judges aimed to create awareness of the economic damage poaching is doing to Kenya as one of Africa’s leading safari destinations.

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Source: eTN Africa

2 Responses to Two poachers in Kenya sentenced to pay US$1 million each or else face life in prison

  1. Luke Manroe September 4, 2015 at 3:42 am

    I’m guessing they’ll be doing the latter.

    Reply
  2. Schven765 September 4, 2015 at 3:43 am

    To me this reads: “If you’re rich enough to afford losing $1M, go ahead and trophy hunt. If you get caught, you’ll escape with a “small” dent to the check book. Otherwise, fuck you, no poaching.”

    Reply

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