A Kenyan court has released on bail a man suspected to be a high level operative in illegal ivory trafficking in the region, causing an uproar among wildlife conservationists who fear that he may flee or interfere with witnesses.

Magistrate Davis Karani released the suspect, Feisal Mohammed Ali, on Friday on a $100,000 bond at a Mombasa court after eight months in custody.

Ali was arrested in December in Tanzania in connection with illegal elephant tusks weighing more than 2 tons that were found during a raid last year.

Ali was listed by Interpol as a most-wanted trafficker of ivory. The police group alleged that Ali is the leader of an ivory smuggling ring.