Kenyan authorities arrested Abu Bakr Mansur Muhammad Surur, a Kenyan citizen who had been reported as “wanted” in the United States for the crimes.
(African Stand) — Kenyan authorities have arrested a wanted man in the United States on charges of conspiring to sell 10 tons of elephant ivory and more than 181 kg (about 400 pounds) of rhinoceros horn for seven years.
The Criminal Investigation Directorate said on its Twitter account Wednesday that the officers arrested Abu Bakr Mansur Muhammad Surur, a Kenyan citizen who had been reported as “wanted” in the United States for the crimes.
The authorities said he was on a chartered plane from Yemen that landed in Mombasa, Kenya’s second-largest city, early on Tuesday.
.@DCI_Kenya Detectives based at Moi International Airport Mombasa have today arrested Mr Abubakar Mansur Mohammed Surur who had been flagged as a WANTED PERSON in the United States for Ivory related offenses after he landed from Yemen on board a chartered aircraft.
— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) July 29, 2020
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District in New York said that Sorour was part of a transnational criminal project known as the “Foundation” based in Uganda and neighboring countries.
The authorities believed that Surur and many others conspired to distribute, sell, and smuggle ivory and the horn between 2012 and 2019.
The distance is believed to involve the poaching of more than 35 rhinoceroses and more than 100 elephants.
The US authorities said that one of the Liberian defendants had already been extradited to the United States after his arrest in Uganda last year.
A Guinean man remained in detention in Senegal, as authorities consider a request for extradition.
The fourth suspect, who is also Kenny, is still on the run.
Africa had 1.3 million elephants in the 1970s, but only 500,000 remained due to overfishing and cup fishing. It is estimated that less than 30,000 rhino animals remain in the wild.
The price of rhino horn increased with the increase in demand in Asian countries, especially China and Vietnam, where pods are used in traditional Chinese medicine as presumptive treatment for a variety of diseases.
Unions from Vietnam, China, South Korea, and Thailand have been identified as being involved in trafficking.