Kenya is part of the International community and in recent past it has dedicated it resources in the protection of endangered species.
Ironically according to a statement released by SEEJ – AFRICA and signed by Chris Morris, a wildlife conservator, at least 640 tonnes of Endangered Malagasy Rosewood Declared illegal by the international community has been secretly released from the country via Mombasa port.
” The 34 containers of rosewood from Madagascar, that transited Zanzibar, were initially seized under the authority of Kenya’s newly revamped wildlife conservation and management Act. In addition the Cargo had been mis-declared as ordinary wood contravening the East African Community customs management act,” read the statement in parts.
Morris added that the Purported owners of the rosewood, Shihua Industry Alliance Co-Ltd of Hong Kong, subsequently instituted a civil proceedings in a Mombasa court for the return of the wood as a way of getting away with species.
” A protracted legal process began and that saw both the lower court in Mombasa and the appeal court rule in favor of the Chinese consignee, calling the original KWS seizure illegal,” He added.
He said that the decision contradicted international agreement and was illegal.
“This decision was a contradiction of 2016 convention of international trade in endangered species of wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES) documents, “Report of Madagascar”, and a January 2022 CITES notification, “ Current status of Malagasy Rosewood logs seizure by Kenya in May 2014 and advisory on Rosewood stockpile originating from Madagascar,” indicating that the subject timber was illegal for further export, ” he said
He said , the process culminated with a Mombasa Environment and Land court ordering the Kenya Wildlife Service to procure for Shihua Alliance Ltd, the documents necessary for the onward shipment.
Failure to comply would result in the personal order of altercation from the Director General of KWS Contempt. This was appealed by the KWS.
Despite the court order in favor, Shihua had difficulty finding a shipping line that would agree to carry the Malagasy Rosewood. Both the Evergreen Line and Maersk shipping lines declined after they became aware, from outside sources, of the internationally prohibited cargo.
According to investigations On December 13, 2022 the Consignment now consisting of 22 x 40 containers( they had cross stuffed on three previous occasions) departed Mombasa Port through carrier Emirates Shipping line with a destination in Dubai.
The containers were seized on transiting Dareesalam . The Cargo had been declared as wooden logs.