KWS Wildlife Protection Department (WPD) from Meru National Park, in conjunction with the Kenya Police, arrested two suspects and recovered a firearm, magazine and several rounds of ammunition in Tharaka Nithi County.
One AK47 rifle, Body No. SHE-X69 B 36738; one AK 47 magazine loaded with 22 rounds of 7.62MM special; 36 rounds of 7.62MM special wrapped with plastic papers and 6 rounds of 7.62MM ordinary were also recovered during the operation.
43-year-old Simon Kanyaru Ndatho alias Ngochi Tharaka, a resident of Osweni Village, Twathanji Sub Location, Kathangachini Location, was tracked down and arrested by the Sub-County Criminal Investigation Officer (SCCIO) after a fierce shoot-out between KWS officers and suspected poachers.
The second suspect was Japeth Iguna. He was arrested at Shauri Market.
The two suspects are currently in police custody. Other items recovered from Ndatho’s house were: an old pair of jungle trousers, jacket and jersey, all wrapped in a polythene bag.
A third suspect, Dancan Mwiti Muchungu alias Kimwiru, escaped the dragnet but sustained gunshot injuries. He hails from Cigira in Tharaka South Sub County.
Currently, KWS is employing several strategies to address the challenge, including the heightening of patrols to curb insecurity and poaching activities.
The public are requested to report any suspected cases of poaching or illegal possession of firearms to the nearest KWS offices or other law enforcement agencies.