A 33-year-old Kenyan man who was on Wednesday caught trafficking a 2.3-meter long snake weighing 10 kilograms was on Friday fined Sh2 million or else serve a two-year prison term.
Karissa Iha had stashed the live python in a black suitcase and was waiting to cross the Likoni Ferry Channel in Mombasa when he was intercepted. This was after an X-ray scan of his suitcase showed the snake tucked in the travel case.
Appearing before Mombasa Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet, Karissa pleaded guilty to the offense of being in a possession of a wildlife species without a permit.
In his ruling on Friday, magistrate Adet said the suspect knew that he required a permit before handling the python, having previously worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
“I find that the accused, having worked with the KWS ought to have known that a permit was required in such circumstance,” the judgment read.
He was facing the charge of possession of a wild animal without a permit contrary to Section 95 (c) of the Wildlife Conservation Act.
It is not clear where the man was taking the snake but pythons are known to fetch a tidy sum for their skin, according to locals.