A man who was caught in possession of a python snake has been sentenced to two years in prison by a Mombasa Law Court.
Benedict Karisa was caught sneaking a 2.3-meter python by a ferry security team after an X-ray scan of his suitcase showed the reptile in his travel case.
He was charged in a Mombasa law court with possession of a wild animal without a permit contrary to Section 92 of the Wildlife Conservation Act.
It states that anyone who keeps, supplies or is found in possession of a wildlife trophy of critically endangered or endangered species as specified in the Sixth Schedule without a permit or exemption issued under the act shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred million shillings or life imprisonment.
Benedict pleaded guilty when he was arraigned in court on Friday. He argued that he was ferrying the reptile to a snake farm in Ukunda, Kwale County.
Mombasa Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet sentenced him to two years in prison or to alternatively pay a fine of Ksh 1 million. Adet noted that Benedict did not give him convincing information as to why he had the snake and why he didn’t have a permit with him as he has worked with KWS before.
Benedict’s sentencing has since sparked some criticism from netizens. They find the court’s decision unfair as they allow people who have looted public funds to walk free.