On Friday, A Kenyan court sentenced an ivory smuggler kingpin Feisal Mohamed Ali to 20 years imprisonment.
The man, Feisal Mohamed Ali who is originally from Mombasa was accused of being involved in an international illegal ivory trade and was linked to a 3-tonne ivory which was seized in June 2014.
The ivory smuggler was arrested in neighboring Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam on Christmas eve 2014. The Kenyan was facing two counts of handling ivory tusks and possessing ivory.
Although he denied the allegations, the court found him guilty on the second count and acquitted him on the first.
Feisal is one of the many who have in their own way led to the surge of ivory poaching that Africa has been experiencing in recent years.
This surge is fed by an equally high demand for ivory by Asians who use them for the creation of ornaments and production of medicines which are alleged to bring health.
Although African nations have stepped up security to prevent the illegal ivory smuggling that has left thousands of elephants dead, the trade still continues to foster.
Kenya particularly has increased jail terms and imposed higher fines on perpetrators of wildlife poaching or trafficking.
In April, President Uhuru Kenyatta burned thousands of elephant tusks and rhino horns, the largest stockpile of ivory ever destroyed in Kenya to send a message to poachers that ivory is only valuable when it’s being used by an elephant.
Four other suspects of ivory poaching who were on trial alongside Feisal were acquitted.
While Feisal’s lawyer stated that the verdict will be appealed, the prosecutors stated that the verdict of the other suspects will be appealed.
“The guilty verdict is a strong message to all networks of poaching gangs, ivory smugglers, financiers, middlemen and shippers that Kenya will not watch as its elephant population is decimated or its territory used as a conduit for traffickers,” Kenya Wildlife Service said in a statement.