Kenya Police has arrested a Spanish woman at Kenya’s international airport for wearing an ivory bangle.
Spaniard Maria Pich-Aguilera, 50, was arrested on Sunday evening and faces a fine of Kenya Shs1million (US$9,800) or 12 months in prison for illegal possession of ivory.
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement she was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with an ivory bangle, while travelling from Nairobi to Tanzania’s financial capital Dar es Salaam.
She becomes the second foreigner arrested over ivory products.
Last week a Frenchwoman was arrested at the airport on her way from France to Mayotte for possession of an ivory bracelet. She pleaded guilty and paid the Kenya Shs1million fine.
“We noticed this new trend where ivory is smuggled through worked or processed bangles and we have increased surveillance,” an investigator speaking on condition of anonymity told media.
“It may be legal in other countries but here it is not. That is why you always hear a call to stop ivory trade all over the world – because any small or big demand anywhere pushes poachers to meet the demands.”
Thousands of conservationists and policymakers from more than 180 countries are currently meeting in Geneva to tighten rules on trade in elephant ivory and products from other endangered animal and plants.