A sub-county police commander in Samburu County was on Wednesday arraigned at the Kahawa Law courts for allegedly being in possession of bhang and over 13 tonnes of Sandalwood.
Calvin Juma Boy Ombata, was arrested after two police motor vehicles registration numbers GKA 237Y Toyota Land cruiser and Isuzu FTS lorry registration number GKB 870T, were found at his residence on September, 27, 2022, loaded with the said consignment.
Juma was arrested alongside two police drivers, Constable Patrick Murigi and Corporal Festus Saha who were driving the two vehicles.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge of being in possession of endangered species contrary to section 94(4) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 and was released on a bond of Sh 2 million and a surety of a similar amount.
The harvesting and trade of sandalwood was criminalised in 2007, following increased exploitation of the aromatic tree whose roots are used for the manufacture of medicines and cosmetics.
A burgeoning illegal trade has grown with the demand for this commodity increasing, leading to its listing in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red list of Threatened Species.