Natural Resource Conservation Network together with Police of Ntinda Police station arrested Manzi Fred 25 year old, Mbaziira Hassan 24, Kasiita Robert 26, Omongot Moses 30, both Ugandan citizens with 69kgs of pure elephant ivory.
They finally arrested after a long time investigations by conservationists and police until they landed in the officers hands.
They were arrested on Wednesday 13th January, 2016 having brought 69kgs of ivory as a sample of the 200kgs which they were willing to sell in case of a successful agreement with the buyers.
Muhindo Laban, the Media Assistant, Natural Resource Conservation Network, says the suspects are currently detained at Ntinda Police Station.
A case file number SD42|13|01|16 has been opened up where they will be charged with illegal possession of wildlife products/trophies.
Today ivory is a very good source of funding for armed rebels and terrorists all over Africa, from Somalia to the central and western African countries.
The reason of this elephant holocaust is one: the ivory demand from Asia. The previous massacre of the ’70s and ’80s was driven by Japan’s economic boom. Now China’s new affluent class drives the ivory demand.
The main consumers are middle-aged men who are eager to make expensive purchases to show off their wealth and investors who consider ivory to have the same value as gold.
“Behind a simple ivory trinket on sale in Shanghai or Hong Kong a person is getting killed in Africa, a wife loses her husband, a child becomes an orphan or a soldier. Ivory consumers and traders should be held directly responsible for these murders and social destruction, as well as all those who facilitate the trade. By trading and buying ivory they become de-facto responsible for those deaths”.
Despite international campaigns to combat poaching, an estimated 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory between 2010 and 2012 – approximately one every 15 minutes.
“These traffickers have got a very wide network which includes poachers who uses poisonous arrows and poisoned brew to kill the elephants. It has worsened to the extent that today foreigners are coming in directly to pick the ivory themselves,” Muhindo explained.