Council askaris arrested over theft of five tusks
TWO Narok county council askaris have been arraigned in court for allegedly stealing 5 elephant tusks from an armory in the Masai Mara game reserve. The two, Corporal Ben Suuji and Mr Robert Dikirr appeared before senior resident magistrate Celestine Nyakundi and pleaded not guilty. They were released on a sh20, 000 cash bail.
According to the particulars presented in court by the prosecution, on the 20th this month the tusks worth sh700, 000 went missing from the armory in Sekenani gate under their custody. The court prosecutor Mr Josiah Njiru told the court that 16 tusks had been kept there as exhibits before they were to be handed over to the Kenya Wildlife Services when 5 of them went missing.
Mr Njiru told the court that the two were custodians of the armory and they were the only ones with the keys to the place. The armory was not broken into. When asked how the tusks reached the armory, the prosecutor said some of them have been recovered from poachers and the others from dead animals. He said the two askaris were on duty on the day the theft took place, and therefore were the main suspects. The remaining 11 tusks have since been handed over to the KWS. The hearing will commence in two weeks.