A Kenyan national has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic rhino horns and elephant ivory in a Manhattan Federal Court.
Mansur Mohamed Surur was involved in the illegal poaching of more than 35 rhinoceros and more than 100 elephants, said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams of the Southern District of New York.
“The protection of endangered wildlife and natural resources is a crucial and important priority for my office,” Williams said.
“These defendants were responsible for furthering an industry that illegally slaughters species protected by international agreements around the world. One of these defendants also engaged in a narcotics conspiracy involving a large quantity of heroin. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), these defendants have now pleaded guilty to the serious and destructive crimes they committed.”
Surur also pled guilty to conspiring to supply heroin to a buyer in the United States, revealed the American Embassy in Nairobi.
Surur’s co-defendants Moazu Kromah, aka Ayoub, Ayuba, and Kampala Man, a Liberian, and Amara Cherif, aka Bamba Issiaka, a Guinean, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to trafficking rhino horns and elephant ivory, as well as substantive charges of rhino horn trafficking, on March 30, 2022, and April 27, 2022, respectively.
Badru Abdul Aziz Saleh, alias Badro, and Abdi Hussein Ahmed, aka Abu Khadi, the remaining defendants, are both Kenyan nationals.
Saleh is being held in Kenya as a result of a US extradition request, while Ahmed remains at large.