Man nabbed trying to smuggle python across Likoni ferry

An African black python snake. Coast residents have been warned against attacking snakes as many cases of snakebites are being reported in the region./COURTESY

Police officers in Likoni sub-county of Mombasa are detaining a man who was arrested in possession of a python on Tuesday.

According to a police statement, the suspect who has been identified as Karissa Iha was carrying the python in a suitcase when he was intercepted by security officers manning the scanning systems at the ferry entrance.

“The suspect was passing the island screening area through the x-ray when he was intercepted,” Police said in a statement.

The 2.3-meter long python had been wrapped in a bedsheet before being packed into the suitcase.

The python which weighs 10 kilograms was still alive by the time it was recovered.

Karissa is expected to be charged with possession of live wildlife trophy without a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Authorities have been trying to contain the illegal possession of wildlife trophies in the coast region.

In September 2017, two Ugandan nationals were arrested after they caused a scene dancing with a snake while naked in the Bamburi area of Mombasa.

According to the Kisauni OCPD Christopher Rotich, the duo had been hired by a witchdoctor to pose as disgraced car thieves.

A man believed to have been the witchdoctor and his accomplice were also arrested with the Shanzu law court allowing the snake to be released to the Shimba Hills National reserve after the prosecution told the court that the snake had been stressed from the constant strangulation it was subjected to during the ordeal and keeping it in police custody could lead to its death.

Snake species such as the African black python are regularly sold in the black market for their skin and meat.

In 2017, KWS effected a ban on exportation of various species snakes into different countries.

The snakes that were being exported to zoos and pet shops in the UK, Czech Republic, Germany, the US, Mexico, Brazil, and China respectively would fetch between sh 10,000 and sh 20,000.