Kenya: an expert of the ivory trade killed at his home

News 5 February, 2018
  • AFP
    Esmond Martin (left).


    Monday, 5 February 2018 06:07

    Monday, 5 February 2018 06:07

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    NAIROBI, Kenya | An expert of worldwide reputation on the traffic of ivory, who wrote many of the reports contributing to the fight against the poaching of elephants, was killed at his home in Kenya, announced on Monday the police.

    Esmond Martin, 75 years, died after being stabbed Sunday evening in his house in Karen, a suburb of Nairobi.

    “The police were called because there was an unusual activity at his house in Karen, but when she arrived she found nothing because the house was closed. It was later found his body with injuries to the weapon and we try to establish who killed him and why,” said the chief of police of Nairobi, Japheth Koome.

    “An investigation has been opened, but no suspects have been arrested so far,” he added.

    Mr. Martin, an american citizen who lived for decades in Kenya, focused his attention on the demand-side of illegal trade in ivory, a student, in particular, the asian market, in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Laos in particular.

    His investigations have contributed to the decision last year on China to close its legal market for ivory, according to Paula Kahumbu, director of Wildlife Direct, an organization for the protection of animals.

    “It was one of the most important people striving to shed light on the ivory trade, by targeting the traffickers themselves,” she said.

    The poaching would have cost the lives of 110 000 elephants over the past decade, transnational criminal organizations have taken in hand, the traffic of ivory.

    The most recent figures for 2016, shows that the illegal trade in ivory continues to be flourishing, with a record number of foreclosures in spite of a decline in poaching.