Kwale: 3 Arrested In Possession Of Endangered Pangolin

Police are probing three men from Kinango, Kwale County, who were arrested after being found in possession of the endangered Pangolin animal.

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.

After a dramatic chase with detectives, the trio was finally captured and the animal rescued, before being ferried to Nairobi.

“Two of the suspects attempted to set the animal free and took flight. This prompted the detectives to chase after the scary mammal with a full armour of scales and the two men, leaving a thick cloud of dust. “However, they finally restrained the duo and the mammal and gave them a ride to Nairobi, ” the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said on Tuesday.

The three are being held at the DCI headquarters in Nairobi while the animal has been handed over to Kenya Wildlife Service officials at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage.

Pangolin trade is one of the most lucrative animal trafficking dealings across the world.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the animals, which are not reptiles as many think, are trafficked mainly for their scales, which are believed to treat a variety of health conditions in traditional medicine, and as a luxury food. 

A kilo of pangolin in Vietnam can fetch up to Ksh.42,000, while the whole animal can go for approximately Ksh.4 million.

​​Pangolin foetus is also purported to be an aphrodisiac.

Some experts say the pangolin is likely the most trafficked mammal in the world but while no one knows how many pangolins are left in the wild, scientists and activists say the number is shrinking fast.

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