On July 23 a Kenyan accused of ivory trafficking and caught with over 2 tons of elephant tusks in 2014 has been sentenced to 20 years in jail and a $200,000 fine. Feisal Mohamed Ali was the subject of the biggest ivory trafficking case in Kenya’s history and has provided a key test for the nation’s reformed wildlife laws.
“The guilty verdict is a strong message to all networks of poaching gangs, ivory smugglers, financiers, middlemen and shippers that Kenya will not watch as its elephant population is decimated or its territory used as a conduit for traffickers.” Kenya Wildlife Service
Feisal Mohamed Ali in court in Mombasa, Kenya, during his trial for ivory trafficking. Photograph: WildlifeDirect
“Stiff penalties to wildlife crimes are paramount to changing the trend of rampant poaching in Africa. Finding, arresting and convicting ivory kingpins seriously disrupts the supply chain of ivory and animal parts. This case will have a knock down effect to supplies, facilitators and poachers. Disseminating such cases in the press and on social media is an important strategy to communicate the severity of wildlife crime. The KWS has led the way in Kenya to make this clear and I am very happy to report that poaching is much lower in the Maasai Mara than in the previous 5 years.” Mara Elephant Project CEO Marc Goss
The Guardian, Kenya Jails Ivory Kingpin for 20 years
Reuters/Business Insider, Kenya Court Jails Ivory Smuggler for 20 years
The New York Times, Kenyan Court Convicts Man of Ivory Trafficking