MONDAY JANUARY 14 2019
The tortoise that three Chinese nationals were found with at their house in Kilimani, Nairobi, as presented in court when they were charged on January 14, 2019 PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
• Ms Shang Li Yun, Mr Shang Jie and Mr Xiang Wei faced Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot.
• The three were allegedly found with the animal, rhino horn weighing 0.94 kilogrammes and worth Sh1.8million, 12 elephant tusks worth Sh4 million, leopard skin worth Sh500,000.
• A ruling on their application for release from police custody will be made on Tuesday.
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
Three Chinese nationals were on Monday charged with having a tortoise and wildlife trophies with a total value of Sh6.3 million.
Ms Shang Li Yun, Mr Shang Jie and Mr Xiang Wei pleaded to eight counts before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot.
The three were arrested after they were found with the animal, rhino horn weighing 0.94 kilogrammes and worth Sh1.8million, 12 elephant tusks worth Sh4 million and leopard skin worth Sh500,000.
They were apprehended on January 8 at their residence in Kilimani, Nairobi, and detained for interrogation.
The court marked the tortoise as an exhibit and released it to the Kenya Wildlife Service for safe custody.
Ms Yun and Mr Jie denied the two charges and another of operating a supermarket without a permit along Ngong Road in Nairobi.
Mr Wei denied another charge of being in Kenya illegally.
Defence lawyers Assa Nyakundi and David Ayuo applied for the accused’s release on bond noting it was their constitutional rights.
“All residents of Kenya are beneficiaries of rights including being freed on bond upon prosecution,” Mr Nyakundi said.
The State opposed the application terming the suspects a threat to wildlife.
The magistrate was told that releasing them would amount to giving them “flight tickets as they face harsh custodial sentences for being in possession of game trophies”.
The three Chinese nationals who were charged on January 14, 2019 with being in possession of a tortoise and wildlife trophies worth Sh6.3 million. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
On Friday, Mr Cheruiyot ordered public health officers to destroy over 500 kilogrammes of assorted rotten meat seized from the Kilimani house that the Chinese nationals had been living in.
The magistrate visited the house before allowing the destruction, saying “life was unbearable for the neighbours because of the stench”.
A State prosecutor, Mr Kennedy Panyako, told the magistrate, “The situation was out of hand as the stench from the foreigners forced some neighbours to move”.
The three will know their fate on Tuesday.