Natural Resource Conservation Network together with CPS Police in conjunction with Uganda Wildlife Authority arrested red-handed Major Rutagira Allen (Black T-shirt), Cpl Kamugisha Collins both Uganda Peoples Defence Forces Staff while selling 21.5kgs of pure elephant ivory.
The arrested were finally arrested after a long time investigations by conservationists and police.
They were arrested on Thursday 24th March at Hotel Africana Kampala.
The arrested senior officers of the UPDF are attached to (SFC) Special Forces Command attached to Entebbe International Airport raising suspicions that they might have obtained the contraband from the coffers of the Airport.
Kamugisha’s confession led to the arrest of George Otika and account at Entebbe handling services, Able Bamonjobora a state house driver and Mbonye Simon a miner and business man in Kampala who was waiting for the money from the transaction and was arrested at a petrol station in Kampala while Mbonye said the contraband belongs to Sande Alex a businessman who was also arrested later on the same day.
The four civilian suspects remain detained at Central Police Station waiting to appear in the courts of law as the hunt for their counterpart’s intensifies while the soldiers were detained at SIU unite in Kireka but later transferred to Nalufenya in Jinja.
Dozens of the elephants have been killed in recent years by villagers, who regard the Elephants as pests that destroy their plantations.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the Elephants as “critically endangered” after their numbers dropped critically to an estimated 5,000 last year CITES lists Elephants in Appendix I (18/01/1990), except populations of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe (Appendix II, 18/09/1997) and South Africa (Appendix II, 19/07/2000) saying Environmentalists say the elephants could be extinct within three decades unless they are protected.
This comes at a time when another UPDF officer was arrested in the same vice in Moroto in January.