Likoni ‘Pythonman’ set free

Benedict Karissa Fondo togethor with the Coast regional cordinator John Elungata PHOTO COURTESY

A 33-year-old man jailed for transporting a live python snake to Ukunda is now a free man.

This is after he was released on Thursday.

Speaking to Baraka on phone, Mombasa County commander Augustine Nthumbi confirmed that Benedict Karissa Fondo was freed after he paid a fine of one million shillings.

This comes after word went around that the Coast regional coordinator John Elungata had secured his freedom and given him cash to help start a business so that he can quit the illegal reptile trade.

However, the Mombasa county commissioner has termed the reports as false.

“We should stop speculations on social media, Karissa was given an alternative fine of a million shillings which he was paid to secure his release,” said Nthumbi.

Photos of Karissa and the Coast regional coordinator surfaced on social media on Thursday after he was released from jail.

Nthumbi said Karissa was released according to the court term set by the court.

A Mombasa court had slapped Karissa with a two-year jail term or alternative of a fine of one million shillings after he pleaded guilty to the offense of transporting a python snake without a permit from Kenya Wildlife Service.

However, Karissa had told the court that he once worked for the KWS and he had forgotten his pass at home.

Karissa was arrested at Likoni ferry service on in a possession of a python snake length of 2.3 meters, weighing 10kgs wrapped in a bed sheet and placed in a suitcase.