Kenya Wildlife Task Force

Major Breakthrough in Sandalwood Trafficking Case in Kenya in Operation Ndovu

In 2022, the Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) took a significant step in the fight against illegal wildlife trade. Following a seizure by Kenyan Law Enforcement Authorities, a major trafficker was apprehended, and 2307 kilos of sandalwood seized in Samburu County a total of five individuals were arrested at the time.  The investigation was later adopted by the KWTF.

Upon thorough review by KWTF, evidence surfaced implicating some of the original arresting officers in the trafficking scheme. These officers were subsequently arrested in 2024.  After an extensive investigation and consultations with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), KFS Superintendent Geophrey Obare Okeyo, Samburu County Director of Conservation James Lesuyai, KWS Warden Amstrong Kamoni Ngeiywa and John Mururi Kanyi were all charged under the Wildlife Crime Management Act in Kahawa Magistrates Court for trafficking 2307 kilos of sandalwood. All defendants have pleaded not guilty.

This case underscores the critical work of KWTF and our partners in ensuring justice and protecting Kenya’s natural heritage. Stay tuned for updates on this pivotal case.

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Kenya Wildlife Task Force Strikes Against Elephant Ivory Trafficking in Operation Batis

In another blow to wildlife trafficking, the Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) recently executed Operation Batis near Nanyuki, Kenya. This operation led to the apprehension of four wildlife traffickers who were actively engaged in the illegal sale of elephant ivory.

During the arrest, law enforcement officers discovered 55 kilograms of ivory concealed within a package, suspected to originate from two elephant tusks. The seizure underscores the severity of the threat posed by ivory trafficking to Kenya’s iconic wildlife populations.

In addition to the contraband ivory, the KWTF seized crucial evidence including cellphones and a set of digital scales. These items are vital in building a strong case against the traffickers and holding them accountable for their crimes against wildlife.

Operation Batis highlights the unwavering commitment of the KWTF to combat wildlife crime and protect Kenya’s natural heritage. By disrupting illegal trafficking networks and apprehending perpetrators, the KWTF is taking proactive steps to safeguard endangered species and preserve biodiversity for future generations.

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Kenya Wildlife Task Force Busts Elephant Ivory Trafficking Ring in Mlolongo

In a significant breakthrough against wildlife crime, the Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) recently carried out a targeted investigatio into the illegal trafficking of elephant ivory in Mlolongo, Kenya. Their relentless efforts culminated in the apprehension of three traffickers who were caught attempting to sell approximately 13 kilograms of illicit ivory. This investigation is known as Operation Swift.

The operation, meticulously planned and executed by the KWTF, uncovered the trafficking operation. The contraband ivory was concealed within packages disguised among clothing items in a small suitcase. The traffickers, emboldened by their deceitful tactics, were swiftly apprehended before they could profit from their illegal activities.

Crucially, intelligence gathered by the KWTF during the operation also led to the seizure of vital pieces of evidence, including cell phones and other incriminating materials. These seized items are expected to play a pivotal role in bolstering the prosecution’s case against the perpetrators.

The successful bust serves as a testament to the unwavering commitment of Focused Conservation and the KWTF in safeguarding Kenya’s precious natural heritage. By dismantling criminal networks involved in the illegal wildlife trade, the KWTF continues to demonstrate its dedication to protecting endangered species and preserving the country’s rich biodiversity.

As the legal proceedings progress, the KWTF remains vigilant, ready to thwart any further attempts to exploit Kenya’s wildlife for profit. The collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies, conservation organizations, and the public are paramount in combating wildlife crime and safeguarding the future of Kenya’s iconic wildlife. Together, we can ensure a future where Kenya’s majestic elephants roam free, unthreatened by the scourge of poaching and trafficking.

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Operation Mesite: Crackdown on Illegal Sandalwood Trafficking in Embu County, Kenya

In a proactive move to combat illegal wildlife trafficking, the Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) initiated Operation Mesite, focusing on the rampant trade of sandalwood in Embu County, Kenya. The operation unfolded as KWTF agents uncovered a significant cache of approximately 500 kilograms of sandalwood concealed within a Toyota Probox, belonging to a sandalwood trafficker.

Swift action led to the arrest of the main suspect, along with three of his associates, who were allegedly involved in the illicit trade. In addition to the arrests, KWTF seized both the contraband sandalwood and the vehicle used for transportation.

Operation Mesite stands as a testament to KWTF’s unwavering commitment to combatting wildlife crime and safeguarding Kenya’s precious natural resources. Through collaborative efforts and decisive actions, KWTF continues to disrupt illegal wildlife trafficking networks, sending a clear message that such activities will not be tolerated.

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Kenya Wildlife Task Force Foils Trafficking Attempt, Pangolin dies at hands of Traffickers

In Kenya, the Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) recently made a significant arrest in the Mahoo area of Taita Taveta County. Two traffickers were apprehended during a law enforcement operation as they attempted to sell a live Temminck’s pangolin. Intelligence gathered by the task force led to an attempted rescue of the pangolin, although tragically, the animal died the night before the arrests were made. An autopsy conducted by the Kenya Wildlife Service revealed that the pangolin had died from suffocation. This investigation has been dubbed Operation Roller.

Both suspects have been arrested and charged with violating provisions of the Wildlife and Conservation Management Act of Kenya. The Temminck’s pangolin is a species entirely terrestrial and commonly found in savannah and woodland habitats. Remarkably, this marks the seventh seizure of pangolin scales and a live pangolin made by the KWTF in the Taita area.

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Focused Conservation Joins Kenya Wildlife Service in Celebrating World Wildlife Day

In honor of World Wildlife Day, Focused Conservation had the privilege of participating in a special event hosted by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) at Nairobi National Park. The event brought together various partners and stakeholders dedicated to safeguarding Kenya’s rich wildlife heritage.

During the celebration, presentations were delivered by Embakasi School and the Young Muslim Association, showcasing innovative methods to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. These included the use of lion lights and drones, demonstrating a proactive approach to conservation challenges.

Highlighting the cultural significance of the occasion, children from Embakasi School captivated the audience with a Swahili song celebrating the hyena, adding a touch of local flair to the festivities.

Salim Ahmed Umar, serving as the honorary warden, shared insightful remarks with attendees, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts in wildlife conservation.

Focused Conservation reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to supporting wildlife protection initiatives worldwide. As part of this dedication, the organization continues to collaborate with partners like the Kenya Wildlife Service to ensure the preservation of biodiversity for future generations.

World Wildlife Day serves as a reminder of the importance of collective action in safeguarding our planet’s precious wildlife. Focused Conservation remains steadfast in its mission to protect and preserve the world’s natural treasures.

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Kenya Wildlife Task Force Cracks Down on Elephant Ivory Traffickers in Operation Buzzard

In a significant move against wildlife trafficking, the Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) launched Operation Buzzard, resulting in the apprehension of three individuals involved in the illegal sale of elephant ivory. This operation marks the first collaborative effort since the recent integration of a Kenya Wildlife Service officer into the KWTF.

The arrested individuals were found in possession of a pair of single tusks weighing a total of 27 kgs, suspected to have been sourced from at least two different elephants. They now face charges under Section 92(2) of the Wildlife and Conservation Management Act, highlighting the ongoing commitment to combatting wildlife crime in Kenya.

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Kenya Wildlife Task Force Makes Major Arrest in Sandalwood Trafficking Case

The Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) has achieved a significant breakthrough in the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking with the recent arrest of a police officer near Nakuru. This officer was implicated in a scheme to smuggle East African sandalwood, a species banned in Kenya and protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). The arrest follows a series of successful operations under Operation Dik Dik, during which over 600 kilograms of sandalwood were seized in September 2023.

Acting on intelligence gathered during previous operations, officers within the KWTF identified the police officer in question, leading to his apprehension on February 3, 2024, at his residence. A thorough search of his home uncovered compelling evidence linking him to the illicit trafficking of sandalwood. However, the operation did not come without its challenges, as KWTF officers had to navigate the threat of potential ambushes by the suspect’s criminal associates while transporting him to the police station.

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Operation Penguin results in more Sandalwood seizures in Kenya

In a continuing effort to combat illegal wildlife activities, the Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) has once again demonstrated its effectiveness in a successful law enforcement operation targeting the illegal trade in sandalwood. A vigilant team of officers, part of a dynamic multi-agency collaboration, intercepted a vehicle transporting approximately 500 kilograms of illicit sandalwood near Lodungokwe. The seized contraband led to the immediate arrest of two individuals involved in this unlawful activity. This decisive action not only curtails the illegal trade but also sends a strong message that the KWTF is unwavering in its commitment to preserving Kenya’s natural heritage.

The KWTF’s track record speaks volumes about its dedication to wildlife conservation and law enforcement. Since its inception, the task force has achieved significant milestones in Kenya, including the seizure of over 49 tonnes of sandalwood and 257 kilograms of elephant ivory through various law enforcement operations. These accomplishments underscore the KWTF’s pivotal role in safeguarding the nation’s biodiversity and serve as a testament to the ongoing battle against illicit wildlife trade in the region.

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