NAIROBI, A stockpile of endangered sandalwood has been recovered at Laikipia Nature Conservancy in western Kenya.
The more than 14 tonnes of sandalwood, worth tens of millions of shillings, were recovered in several bomas (homesteads) at the conservancy owned by environmentalist Kuki Gallman, who, acting on a tip-off from members of the public, discovered together with the police the illegal business being run on her ranch.
For the last two months, the police and the environmentalist had been working together to establish the whereabouts of the consignment of illegal sandalwood which was found in two huts guarded by two men.
The ranch is home to the endangered sandalwood which grows in the wild but which is an ingredient used in the preparation of cosmetics.
One person was nabbed while the other suspect escaped. The Kenya Wilidlife Srvice (KWS) officer in charge of the Ol Moran area, Corporal Kipeteli Lelesit, said they were pursuing the suspect who escaped.
He noted that officers had been deployed to make sure that no consignment left the ranch.
Lelesit said that the suspect would be arraigned in court once investigations were complete.
The incident comes barely a month after another sandalwood consignment was intercepted in Nakuru in southwestern Kenya while being ferried in a government vehicle.