Kenya Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Kenya’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

Based on statistics released by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), there were at least 20,000 elephants killed world wide by poachers in 2013 for their ivory tusks. The number of elephants killed was slightly down from the 22,000 elephants killed in 2012 and the 25,000 poached in 2011.

At the end of 2013, there were an estimated 500,000 African elephants living in the world. 95 percent of the elephant population has been killed during the last 100 years.

The ivory is collected from elephants in Africa and sold in markets in Asia. According to Cites, there are 8 countries that are heavily involved in either buying, selling or providing illicit ivory. The countries are Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in Africa, and China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia.

The three African countries accounted for 80 percent of the major seizures in Africa in 2013.

Security forces stated that many of the gangs involved in wildlife trafficking are now using existing drug trafficking routes to smuggle the ivory.

(See more elephant poaching statistics here.)

Source:  Damian Carrington, “Fewer elephants killed in 2013, figures show,” Guardian, June 13, 2014.

According to criminal justice programs and wildlife charities, a kilogram of ivory poached from elephants is available for sale in Asia at prices of $850 (€650). In 2011, over $31 Million worth of ivory tusks was smuggled from Eastern Africa to Asia, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

A large portion of the poaching of elephants and rhinos take place in Kenya. Security services in the region state that organized groups of poachers use night vision goggle, automatic weapons and chainsaws to kill rhinos and elephants and to quickly remove the horns and tusks.

Intelligence by wildlife charities and advocates state that the poaching in Kenya is done by a core group of 20 to 30 people.

(More statistics on elephant poaching.)

(More statistics on rhino poaching.)

Source:  AFP, “Counting the cost of East Africa’s poaching economy,” Google News, March 24,2014.

The Kenya Film Classification Board banned the movie Wolf of Wall Street from being show in the country due to its “extreme scenes of nudity, sex, debauchery, hedonism and cursing”, as reported by the BBC.

Despite the ban, the Oscar-nominated movie directed by Martin Scorsese about a Wall Street stockbroker is readily available on the black market. The reported price for a pirated copy of Wolf of Wall Street sold at street DVD vendors in Kenya is $0.57.

(More black market prices and services.)

Source:  “Kenya arrests over banned Wolf of Wall Street film,” BBC News, February 13, 2014.


According to media reports from Africa, men in Kenya are increasing choosing to visit prostitutes from Uganda rather than Kenya due to several factors.

One of the main factors of preference for Uganda prostitutes is due to female genital mutilation (FGM) of Kenyan women. Due to the process of cutting of the labia, many women are unable to feel stimulation during intercourse. Thus, according to men interviewed, they are “boring in bed.”

Another reason is the price. Prostitutes in Kenya charge between $3.20 to $11.25 (8,000 to 28,000 Uganda Shillings). In contrast, prostitutes from Uganda charge between $0.80 to $2.00 (2,000 to 5,000 Schillings).

(World prostitute prices.)

One Uganda prostitute stated that when Somali truck drivers travel through the area, she is able to make up to $500 (500,000 Schillings) a night.

There are about 500 prostitutes working in the area of Malaba, Kenya that borders on Uganda. They women service the hundreds of truck drivers who use the customs point at the border.

(Income from illegal jobs.)

Source:  Pius Opae Papa, “Why Ugandan, Kenyan sex workers are at war,” The Observer(Kenya), January 19, 2014.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:

A report by Transparency International found that one in six students around the world had to pay a bribe in order to receive education services.

In addition to the bribes, corrupt actions taken by officials has prevented millions of dollars from reaching schools. In Kenya, funding that could be used to purchase up to 11 million textbooks are lost each year. In Tanzania, over one-third of the funding that was to be used for funding 180 schools is lost to corruption. In Nigeria, $21 Million that was meant for schools was lost to corruption in a span of 2 years.

(All statistics on the effects of corruption.)

Source:  Sean Coughlan, “Corruption and bribery in the classroom,” BBC News, October 9, 2013.

According to the Elephant Action League, the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab funds up to 40 percent of their operations with the proceeds from ivory trafficking.

The group was responsible for the September 2013 attack on a Kenyan mall in September 2013.

Ivory trafficking across Africa contributed to the deaths of over 30,000 elephants in 2012. The biggest global market for ivory is in China, where a kilogram of ivory can sell for around $3,000 a kilo.

Poachers who kill the elephant in Africa earn between $50 to $100 per kilogram for the ivory.

(Prices of endangered species on the black market.)

Source:  Catruna Stewart, “Illegal ivory trade funds al-Shabaab’s terrorist attacks,” Independent, October 6, 2013.

In 2012, up to 30 percent of the drugs sold in Kenya were believed to have been counterfeits, according to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya.

In Ivory Coast, the rate of counterfeit drugs sold was between 20 to 25 percent.

Source:  AFP, “Counterfeit medicine trade targets Africa’s poor,” Google News, August 22, 2013.

In the first eight months of 2013, a reported 190 elephants, 35 rhinos, and 2 forest rangers were killed in Kenya.

In 2012, a total of 29 rhinos were killed in the country.

Between 2009 and 2012, nearly 1,000 elephants have been killed in Kenya by poachers. The total elephant population in the country is between 35,000 to 40,000.

(Price of rhino horns and ivory on the black market.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Poachers kill rhino in Nairobi Nat’l Park, highlighting risk to Kenya’s wildlife,” Washington Post, August 13, 2013.

The Refugees Consortium of Kenya reported that at least 50 girls between the age of 10 to 15 are sold in the major cities of Kenya every week.

The human traffickers generate an estimated $40 Million a year from the selling of young girls.

The International Organization of Migration says that up to 20,000 people from Somalia and Ethiopia are smuggled into Kenya each year and their way to South Africa.

Source:  “Poverty fuels human trafficking in Kenya,” Sunday Nation, April 27, 2013.

According to a study by the International Trade Center in Kenya, each shipment made by exporters and importers in the country pay up to $5,797 (500,000 Kenyan Schillings) in bribes.

Out of that amount, $2,903 (250,000 Schillings) goes to Customs Officials, $1,742 (150,000 Schillings) goes to Port Officials, and police officers take a $1,161 (100,000 Schilling) cut.

(More on government corruption.)

Source:  Winfred Kagwe, “Kenya: Bribery a Major Trade Barrier – Study,” allAfrica, February 27, 2013.