(Xinhua) -- More than 10
senior officials at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
JKIA were grilled over the seizure of rhino horns worth
over 700,000 dollars in Vietnam as Interpol joined in
the probe on Tuesday.
They include senior
managers working for Kenya Airport KAA accused of
colluding in the smuggling ring of 119 kilograms of
rhino horn stashed in two suitcases.
Detectives from Directorate of Criminal Investigation
(DCIO) are investigating how the horns were sneaked from
Malawi to Nairobi en route to Vietnam via National
Carrier Kenya Airways.
The detectives are now probing how the haul managed
to pass through the busy airport undetected.
JKIA police station DCIO Julius Mbati is the lead
investigator in the latest seizure believed to be
involving kingpin involved in elephant and rhino
poaching in the Africa.
Mbati is leading a multi-agency team investigating
the seizure in analyzing CCTV footage that captures crew
members removing tag from the two suitcases and
concealing the suitcases.
The multi-agency team will hand over report to the
Director of CID Ndegwa Muhoro and inspector General of
police Joseph with possible prosecution of the main
suspects once investigations are complete.
"The investigation is complex and the government has
sought assistance from different agencies including the
Interpol to assist in the cross border investigation to
unearth the syndicate." He added.
The haul was impounded at Hanoi’s Noi Bai
International Airport last week Tuesday after they were
found hidden in luggage on a flight from Nairobi.
The two suitcases were found to contain 57 kilograms
and 62 kilograms of Rhino horns, respectively during the
scanning by custom officials at Vietnam airport.
Vietnam is a lucrative market for rhino horns,
believed to have medicinal properties as
conservationists warn that rhino population has dwindled
due to ready market in Asia.
In 2016, Vietnam customs officials seized nearly one
tonne of ivory hidden in a timber shipment from Kenya
that had originated from port of Mombasa.
From Nairobi haul of smuggled rhino horn held at Hanoi Airport