Police officers in Mombasa on Tuesday night arrested a man at the Likoni Ferry Channel in possession of a live 2.3 meter python weighing 10 kilograms concealed in a black suitcase.
A police report filed at the Ferry Police Station within Mombasa County flagged the man after an x-ray screening machine picked something unusual hidden inside his suitcase.
According to a police statement, the suspect, who has been identified as Karissa Iha, was then intercepted by security officers manning the scanning system at the ferry entrance.
“The suspect was passing the island screening area through the x-ray when he was intercepted,” police said in a statement.
The suspect is expected to be arraigned in court on Wednesday to face charges of being in a wildlife species without a permit in contravention of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (2013).
Section 95 of the Act forbids the dealing in wildlife trophy, manufacturing of items from wildlife trophy without a permit.
Convicted offenders are liable to a fine of not less than Sh1million or imprisonment for a term of not less than three years or both.
Further Section 96 (1) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (2013) recommends a fine of not less than Sh20million or life imprisonment, a Sh5million fine or imprisonment of five years or both, or a Sh1million fine and imprisonment for two years, for any person who engages in sport hunting.
Snake species such as the African black python are regularly sold in the black market for their skin and meat.
In 2017, KWS effected a ban on exportation of various species snakes into different countries.