Kenya

Man caught with python set free after Uhuru pays Sh1m fine

Man caught with python set free after Uhuru pays Sh1m fine
  • Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata said on Friday that Benedict Karisa was released from Shimo La Tewa Prison in Mombasa County.
  • Mr Elungata said he was freed after President Kenyatta paid his Sh1 million fine.
  • Mr Karisa was taken to the Likoni Ferry Police Station and arraigned on February 14.
  • There was an uproar, however, after Mombasa Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet issued the prison sentence.

A man sentenced to two years in prison for carrying a python without a permit has been set free following President Uhuru Kenyatta's intervention.

Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata said on Friday that Benedict Karisa was released from Shimo La Tewa Prison in Mombasa County after President Kenyatta paid his Sh1 million fine.

Mr Elungata also said Mr Karisa was given Sh8,340 for transport to his home in Mtwapa, Kilifi County.

The 30-year-old was apprehended at the Likoni crossing on the morning of February 11 with a 10 kg python measuring 2.3 metres.

A report by the Kenya Wildlife Service stated that he wrapped the reptile in a white bed sheet and put it in a black suitcase.

UPROAR

Mr Karisa was taken to the Likoni Ferry Police Station and arraigned on February 14.

There was an uproar, however, after Mombasa Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet issued the prison sentence.

The magistrate explained that the accused knew he needed a permit as he had worked for the KWS.

But via social media, some members of the public poked holes into his quick arraignment, noting that big fish in various cases had not been punished in any way.