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Ugandan official arrested in possession of Illegal ivory

Police in Busia have arrested a Senior Security Officer from Uganda in possession of three pieces of animal trophies worth Sh 3 million street value.

Kennedy Wabwire, was arrested on Friday at around 2.00 pm through a tip off from members of the public.

“We got information that some Ugandan Nationals were on a mission to traffic ivory into Kenya with the aim of selling,” said Busia DCIO, Benard Wamalwa.

Wamalwa said that police officers liaised with the informer and lured the suspects that the buyer was waiting for the items at one of the Mosques in Busia town.

`The suspects arrived in two motorbikes and we managed to arrest one as the other one fled,” he said, adding that the arrested suspect is a lieutenant working in the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UBDF) in Uganda.

He stated that the suspect has been taken to court and will be charged with being in possession of wildlife trophies contrary to Section 95 of the Wildlife Conservation Management Act of 2013.

Efforts are still underway to arrest the other culprits who escaped on another motorcycle with a sack of ivory,” he said, adding that the suspect disclosed that they used the Mariachi route to access the Mosque.

The officer further said that the Boda boda rider who was carrying the suspects has also been arrested and has recorded statements with the police as a witness.

Wamalwa urged the local residents to report suspected people dealing in the any illegal activity, adding trade in ivory was affecting both Kenya and Uganda negatively through loss of revenue that could be gotten from tourism.

“If we fail to report such cases, we will not only lose elephants but also other animals,” he said, adding that security officers cannot succeed without collaboration with the local residents.

The official who addressed the press in his office expressed concern that trade in ivory was becoming rampant at the border, stating that this is the third incident.

By Salome Alwanda

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