33-year-old man, Karissa Iha, was arrested at Likoni Ferry Channel following a screening that unearthed a huge python stashed in a suitcase.
Iha was attempting to cross over the channel before he was nabbed.
The python according to authorities at the port was said to weigh 10Kgs and measure 2.3 meters in length.
Following his arrest, he is set to be charged with the offense of holding live wildlife species without a permit contrary to Section 95(c) of the 2013 Wildlife Conservation and Management Act.
“The suspect was passing the island screening area through the X-Ray (detector) when he was intercepted. He was arrested, and will be charged with the offense of dealing in a live wildlife species without a permit or other lawful exemption contrary to Section 95(c) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013,” read a police report filed at Likoni Ferry Police Station.
Iha was expected to be arraigned in court today, Wednesday, February 12 with the python to be used as evidence.
10-Kg python produced in a Mombasa court as evidence after a 33-year-old man was arrested in possession of the snake as he waited to cross the Likoni Ferry channel on Tuesday. X-Ray detector showed that the reptile was stashed in the suspect’s suitcase. | VIDEO BY M. MUTIGA pic.twitter.com/a3lA35y37W
— K24 TV (@K24Tv) February 12, 2020
Section 95 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act restricts residents from dealing with wild animal species without obtaining a permit.
The offense attracts a liable fine of not less than Sh1 million, an imprisonment term of not less than three years or both.
“A person who engages in sport hunting or any other recreational hunting commits an offense and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not less than twenty million shillings or imprisonment for life; a fine of five million shillings or imprisonment of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment; a fine of one million shillings or imprisonment of two years or to both such fine and imprisonment,” reads Section 96 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013.
Kenya considers some species as endangered, with protective measures taken to curb their extinction and hunting.
For instance, in 2017, the Kenya Wildlife Services imposed a ban on exportation of various snake species into other countries, among the African Black Python which is regularly sold for its skin and meat.