Kenya Wildlife Service officers on Wednesday night intercepted 500 kilograms of pangolin scales at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The consignment was en route to Laos from Sierra Leone via Kenya.
KWS director general Kitili Mbathi said: “We are happy with the outstanding performance of the KWS Canine Unit and with support from partners intend to expand the unit. Criminals engaged in illegal wildlife trade will have to think twice before using Kenya as a transit point for their activities,”
The pangolin scales are mixed with rhino horns to prepare traditional Chinese medicines that claim to be aphrodisiacs. This factor, beside their being considered exotic animals, makes the pangolin one of the most trafficked animal in the world, sources say.
“Apart from the Rhino horn and elephant Ivory, pangolin scales are one of the commodities highly traded across the globe,” said Patrick Omondi, a KWS director.
A similar amount of pangolin scales, destined for Bangkok, Thailand from DR Congo, was netted at the airport in March 2016.