Three suspects are in police custody after being found in possession of a Pangolin in Vugurungani village, Kwale County. It is believed to be the world’s most trafficked non-human mammal
Pas Mwiti, 30, Kabwere Tembe, 26, and Salim Nduria, 22, posed as traffickers of the highly-sought-after mammal, and were arrested following a tip-off from members of the public.
Two of the suspects had attempted to set the animal free and escape. This prompted the detectives to chase after the scary mammal and the two men, until they managed to recover them.
“However, they finally restrained the duo and the mammal and gave them a ride to Nairobi, ” said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
According to the DCI, the pangolin cost estimates is about Sh4 million in the black market. Their scales are believed to treat a variety of health conditions in traditional medicine, and as a luxury food.
It is used for spiritual protection and financial rituals. The animal is believed to be among the most trafficked species in the world due to its valuable scales.
They are sold in Vietnam and Chinese markets where their scales are used in traditional medicine and their meat is bought on the black market.
In Vietnam a kilo of Pangolin can fetch up to Ksh.42,000, while the whole animal can go for approximately Ksh.4 million.
If found guilty, the three suspects face a fine of not less than one Sh1 million or imprisonment of not less than five years or both.
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