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Justice for Elephants in Kenya: Ivory Smuggler Jailed for 20 Years

Feisal Mohamed Ali, described by the Kenya Wildlife Service as an ivory smuggling kingpin, has been jailed for 20 years and fined U.S. $200,000 (Ksh20 million) for illegal dealing in, and being in possession of, ivory. Four co-accused and Fuji Motor company were acquitted in the case adjudicated in Mombasa, last Friday, KWS said in a statement on its website. “The guilty...

The guilty verdict of an ivory smuggler is a strong message that Kenya will not watch as its elephant population is decimatedTweet this

“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,” KWS declared.

The two-year-old case, Kenya’s largest ivory trafficking indictment to date, is a result of well-coordinated partnership bringing together various government agencies and international partners, including the INTERPOL and Lusaka Agreement Task Force, KWS added.

“This landmark ruling by the Kenyan court is the end of a long story that began with the seizure of 2 tonnes of ivory at Fuji Motors car yard in Mombasa in June 2014,” said Paula Kahumbu, in an article published on The Guardian website on Saturday. “After more than 2 years of uncertainty and high drama, this exemplary sentence is justice for elephants.”

Kahumbu led a vocal campaign to bring Feisal Mohamed Ali to justice. Read more about that in her Voice for Elephants post:  My Offer to Help Kenyan Authorities Catch an Ivory Kingpin Is Spurned

Related News
Two Jailed 40 Years Over Ivory Rip-Off (Daily News, Tanzania)

Wildlife conservationist Paula Kahumbu is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and occasional contributor to A Voice for Elephants. She is the CEO of WildlifeDirect, a Nairobi-based conservation charity founded by Richard Leakey. She received her doctorate from Princeton University where she did research on elephants. In 2011 she she won the National Geographic/Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation. In 2012 she launched the Hands Off Our Elephants Campaign, which is widely recognized for its successes in advocacy and in engaging Kenyans to support the protection of elephants. 

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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Meet the Author

Author Photo David Max Braun
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn