Kenyan officials impound two tonnes of ivory: police

Jan 15, 2013
Photo taken on December 30, 2012 shows an elephant at the Amboseli game reserve, approximately 250 kilometres south of Kenyan capital Nairobi. Officials in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa have impounded more than 600 pieces of ivory, weighing two tonnes, officials told AFP Tuesday.

Officials in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa have impounded more than 600 pieces of ivory, weighing two tonnes, officials said on Tuesday.

"They were labelled as decorating stones and were headed to Indonesia from Tanzania," a police source based at the port told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The head of the port operations at the port, Gitau Gitau confirmed the seizure, but said no arrests had been made. Gitau said the documents used to ship the cargo would be used to track its owners.

Two weeks ago, officials in Hong Kong seized more than a tonne of ivory worth about $1.4 million in a shipment from Kenya.

is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of and Flora (CITES), which is due to hold its next meeting in March.

East African nations have recorded an increase in poaching incidents. Just last week, a family of 11 elephants was massacred in a Kenyan park in what officials called the country's worst incident of its kind in the past three decades.

Africa is home to an estimated 472,000 , whose survival is threatened by poaching and .

Explore further: Call for alternative identification methods for endangered species

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