Nairobi, Jan 26 – Kenyan authorities have extradited a key wildlife and narcotics trafficking suspect, Mansur Mohamed Surur (a.k.a. Mansour), to the United States where he is indicted for conspiracy to smuggle at least 190 kilograms of rhinoceros horns and at least 10 tons elephant ivory valued at more than $7 million.
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announced on January 25 that Surur, a Kenyan national, had arrived in the United States. He was arrested by Kenyan police on July 29, 2020 in Mombasa on charges of conspiracy to traffic in rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory, both endangered wildlife species, which involved the illegal poaching of approximately 35 rhinoceros and more than 100 elephants.
Surur was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 10 kilograms of heroin. Surur’s co-defendant, Moazu Kromah, (a.k.a. Ayoub, Ayuba or Kampala Man) a citizen of Liberia, was previously deported to the United States from Uganda on June 13, 2019.
Co-defendant Amara Cherif, a citizen of Guinea, was extradited to the United States from Senegal on April 3, 2020. Co-defendant Abdi Hussein Ahmed, a Kenyan, remains a fugitive.
“Mansur Mohamed Surur is alleged to be a member of an international conspiracy to traffic in rhino horns, elephant ivory, and heroin,” said Strauss. “The enterprise is allegedly responsible for the illegal slaughter of dozens of rhinos and more than 100 elephants, both endangered species.”
According to allegations in the indictment Kromah, Cherif, Surur, and Ahmed were members of a transnational criminal enterprise (the “Enterprise”) based in Uganda and surrounding countries that was engaged in the large-scale trafficking and smuggling of rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory, both protected wildlife species. Trade involving endangered or threatened species violates several US laws, as well as international treaties implemented by certain American laws.
Sixty-year-old Surur is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking and two counts of wildlife trafficking, which each carry a maximum sentence of five years; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years; and one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.