Kenyan court okays extradition of wildlife trafficking suspect to the US

Mansur Mohamed Surur, a Kenyan fugitive wanted by the US government. [Photo: Standard]

The Kenyan government will extradite a 60-year-old man to the US to face wildlife trafficking charges.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku okayed the extradition of Mansur Mohamed Surur alias Mansour.

Daily Nation reports that he will be extradited in the next 15 days where criminal proceedings against him will commence at an American federal court.

In her decision, the magistrate said that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji had proven beyond doubt that Mansour was a fugitive.

Mansour holds dual citizenship. He is also a Yemen national. When he was arrested at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa in July, he was from Yemen together with a group of other Kenyans who had been stuck there.

“Today morning at 01.00 hrs…holder of Passport number A2283881 and Kenyan ID card no.0069184 who had been flagged as wanted in the US for ivory related offences was arrested at the arrival terminals at Moi International Airport…He was subsequently handed over to Interpol Nairobi for further action,” a report from Interpol read.

He was arrested for conspiring to sell ivory and rhino horns valued at Ksh700 million.

Mansour killed 35 rhinos and 200 elephants through poaching between 2012 and 2019 across Africa.

Under international treaties, elephants and rhinos are protected animals.

Mansur is among members of a transnational criminal outfit whose operations are in Uganda. Here, they smuggle rhino horns and ivory from neighbouring countries.

They established a client base in the US and Asia where they have been selling game trophies and narcotics.

Police are also seeking Abdi Hussein, another suspect who worked alongside Mansour. Hussein has managed to evade the police dragnet.