Two arrested for smuggling 152 tortoises


Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has arrested two people for trying to smuggle 152 tortoises valued USD760,000 (approximately Shs 2,546,000,000)  from Mbale district in Eastern Uganda.

Abdu Kanyabelong was arrested on Monday by URA alongside his driver Ali Semambo following a tip off.

The two had concealed the reptile in sacks and they were found without documents authorizing them to move the reptiles.

Agnes Nabwire, the assistant commissioner enforcement at URA told journalists on Tuesday that they got information that there were some suspicious goods loaded on a car and when they went there to check, they found tortoises concealed in sacks.

The reptiles were consequently handed over the tortoises to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to be returned to Nakapiririt where they are suspected to have been picked from.

UWA Public Relations Manager  Josey Muhangi, said each tortoise was valued at $5000 (Shs16.7m) on the black market in Asia

Two suspects, according to UNRA will be arraigned in court and charged.

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