1.3 Tons of Illegal Ivory Seized At Nairobi Airport

Officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi recovered more than a metric ton of illegal ivory in 14 metal boxes disguised as diplomatic baggage.

An anonymous tip alerted officials to the contraband’s presence late Thursday evening. The identities of the people who brought the baggage to the airport are still unknown.

Out of the 14 boxes, three were labeled as being from the Embassy of Papua New Guinea while 11 were labeled as being from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Brunei.

An international team of law enforcement agencies is investigating the smuggling attempt, and will conduct DNA testing to determine the actual origin of the ivory.

Although the ivory trade has been banned since 1989, illegal sales have continued to thrive, especially in Asian countries where the price has gone up from about $100 per kilogram ($100 per 2.2 pounds) to $1,800, creating a lucrative black market.

According to the Environmental News Service, the interception at the airport follows a seizure of 2.03 metric tons of ivory by Thai Customs officials at Bangkok seaport on March 30. This ivory had been shipped through the Port of Mombasa and hidden in a shipment of frozen fish.

Last year, Kenyan authorities apprehended a pair of smugglers trying to leave the country with two tons of ivory and five rhino horns by hiding the loot inside boxes labeled “avocados.”

The Kenya Wildlife Service hopes that the latest incident will help support their desire to implement reforms to deter both poachers and smugglers, including sniffer dogs at the Port of Mombas.

Related Reading:

Smugglers Arrested With 2 Tons Of African Ivory

Wild Rhinos Get GPS Implants To Deter Poachers

Pennsylvania Deer Poachers Face Serious Prison Time

Image Credit: Flickr CC - I Love Trees

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Bettina Galo
Bettina Galo2 years ago

As an activist think you have to create awareness at the level of society. The purchasing an item that is complicit ivory has killed the elephant. That buying bathing his hands and blood consciousness. It will be very nice the item purchased, but death was upon him. On each one of us when we buy items that are in construction is something animal. Again we must have a deep awareness of what's behind each of these objects created at the expense of animal lives.

Fiona T.
Fi T.2 years ago

They're killed without being known, so poor

Claud V.
Claud Veiga2 years ago

I tried to open the page, "wild rhinos get gps implants to deter poachers" but it link is not working. It made me wonder if something similar can be done for elephants??

Veronique L.
veronique L.3 years ago


Lynn D.
Lynn D.3 years ago

Hope they're punished to the highest extent possible (if not killed)!

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago

wonder what they do with it

Marlene Dinkins
Marlene Dinkins3 years ago

thanks for the posting.

Tim Cheung
Tim C.4 years ago