Kenyan police arrest fugitive charged in US with ivory, rhino horn trafficking

Kenyan police officers.
Kenyan police officers.
Simon Maina

Kenyan police arrested a fugitive wanted in the United States on charges of trafficking ivory and rhino horn after he flew into Mombasa, authorities said on Wednesday.

Abubakar Mansur Mohammed Surur was detained for alleged "ivory-related offences" after he landed in the coastal city in a chartered plane flown from Yemen, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Twitter.

In a June 2019 indictment, the US Drug Enforcement Administration charged Surur and three others with conspiracy to traffic at least 190 kg of rhino horn and 10 tonnes of ivory worth more than $7 million.

The DEA said last year that Surur and another Kenyan, Abdi Hussein Ahmed "Abu Khadi", were on the run while a Liberian suspect was in custody in the United States and a Guinean suspect detained in Senegal pending extradition.

Kenya also has an extradition treaty with the United States.

The quartet had run their enterprise out of Uganda and neighbouring countries between 2012 and last year, according to the DEA indictment.

Surur and Ahmed were also charged with conspiracy to launder money and distribute heroin.

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