Kenyan national Mansur Mohammed alias Mansour has been extradited to the United States months after he was nabbed in Mombasa for ivory, rhinoceros horns and drug trafficking.
Audrey Strauss, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced on Monday that Mansour, 60, arrived in the US on Monday morning.
The accused was arrested by Kenyan authorities on July 29, 2020, shortly after arriving from Yemen, on charges of conspiracy to traffic in rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory, both endangered wildlife species, which involved the illegal poaching of more than approximately 35 rhinoceros and more than 100 elephants.
He faced additional charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 10 kilograms of heroin.
Mansour’s co-accused include Kenyan counterpart Abdi Hussein Ahmed, Moazu Kromah alias Ayoub alias Kampala Man from Liberia and Amara Cherif alias Bamba Issiaka from Guinea.
Following his arrest last year, Mansour attempted to prevent his extradition through the Kenyan courts but was unsuccessful after the prosecution presented a witness that confirmed he was wanted in the US for committing various crimes.
New York District Attorney Audrey Strauss revealed the suspect is part of an international syndicate based in Uganda engaging in the illicit trade.
“Mansur Mohamed Surur is alleged to be a member of an international conspiracy to traffic in rhino horns, elephant ivory, and heroin. The enterprise is allegedly responsible for the illegal slaughter of dozens of rhinos and more than 100 elephants, both endangered species. The excellent work of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the DEA has put an end to this operation, ” the attorney said.
Trade involving endangered or threatened species violates several US laws, as well as international treaties implemented by certain US laws.
According to the prosecution, from at least in or about December 2012 through at least in or about May 2019, Kromah, Cherif, Mansour, and Ahmed conspired to transport, distribute, sell, and smuggle at least approximately 190 kilograms of rhinoceros horns and at least approximately 10 tons of elephant ivory from or involving various countries in East Africa, including Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania, to buyers located in the United States and countries in Southeast Asia.
Kromah was arrested in Uganda on June 12, 2019, and expelled to the United States. He was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker in June and detained.
Cherif was arrested in Senegal on June 7, 2019, and remains in custody in Senegal pending a process through which his extradition, deportation or another lawful removal to the United States is being considered by Senegalese authorities.