Two suspected Poachers arraigned in a Mombasa Court

Two suspected Poachers arraigned in a Mombasa Court

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Two men were on Wednesday charged in a Mombasa court with being in possession of wildlife trophies worth sh3 million without permit.

Ali Omar Hajji and Said Alfani Mwinyi who appeared before Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache denied the charges.

The accused were charged that on December 27, they were found with rhino horns weighing 1.406 kilograms at Mama Ngina Drive within Mombasa County.

The court was told that the accused persons were arrested with the trophies as they tried to source for potential customers along the Indian Ocean.

They were also charged with dealing in wildlife trophies without permit contrary to Section 95 of the Wildlife Act.

Mwinyi and Omar through their lawyer John Magiya asked the court to release them on bail pending the hearing and determination of their case.

State counsel Lydia Kagori however opposed the release of the accused on bond on grounds that investigations have not been completed.

Ms Kagori said the prosecution is seeking to file a detailed affidavit opposing the release of the accused on bond.

“This is a multiagency matter and the officers are in the final step of filing the affidavit, the offence is transnational and it involves syndicates operating in wide network,” she said

Ms Kagori also told the court that investigations were not complete and releasing the accused would weaken the case as they are likely to interfere with investigations.

Mr Magiya on his part asked the court to object the request by the prosecution saying the police had enough time to complete investigations before arraigning and charging the accused in court.

“The accused were arrested on December 27, last year and they have been in custody for more than a week, what were the investigating officers doing all that while?  Why are they charging them if
investigations are not complete?  Mr Magiya asked.

The magistrate however ordered that the accused be remanded until Thursday when the application opposing their release on bond would be heard.