Five people have been arrested and charged with illegally transporting 535 kilograms of a rare East African wood that is listed as an endangered species.
The suspects, Joseph Nguro Kabiro, Stephen Odongo, Mutua Mwangangi, Morris Maina, and Agnes Nene Nasieku, appeared in a Nairobi court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to charges of violating the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act.
According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the five were apprehended on March 21st after the lorry used to transport the critically endangered species was intercepted on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
According to DCI, sacks disguised as parcels were seized from the truck, but further investigation revealed the true nature of the consignment and its destination at the Kenya-Busia border.
“Following a thorough search, ten carefully fastened sacks disguised as parcels containing 534Kgs of the East African wood were recovered,” DCI wrote.
“Upon investigations, it was established that the consignment had initially been sent from Kitui and was destined for Busia border via Nairobi.”
According to DCI, investigations revealed that the mastermind behind the deal, Agnes Nasieku, was the intended recipient of the consignment.
Odongo, Mwangangi and Maina were the middlemen while Nguro was the truck driver. They were arrested and placed in custody.
The four were given a Ksh.2 million temporary bond and a cash bail of a similar amount.