UPDF personnel implicated in wildlife trafficking


Acting on a tip-off provided by the Wildlife Conservationists, (NRCN), Police have arrested 0ne UPDF personnel and one LDU commander based in Moroto and two other high ranking traffickers illegally carrying four leopard skins, one serval cat skin and one mature dead Pangolin in Nakapiripirit over the last weekend.

The arrested are Otim Robert 30 years attached to defence forces of Moroto barracks, Ogutti Emmanuel 29 (UPDF), Odeke Emmanuel 36 (LDU) commander and Aron Joseph Nyongesa 29.

This is the sixth seizure in a row made this January made by NRCN and all the suspects are currently detained at Nakapiripirit district police station, investigations are on to find out which game park the animals had been killed from. All the suspects are part of a group of traffickers, claiming that they had been told that there are clients in neighboring countries willing to offer a lot of money for rare animal skins.

“The capture and jailing of suspected poachers and traffickers indicates how serious NRCN and Police is about tackling wildlife crime and how determined we are to ensure that poachers pay for their crimes,” “We call upon residents living near game parks to desist from collaborating with poachers, but work with law enforcers to protect animals. We also call upon game rangers to be vigilant against environment crimes and work with the Police to overcome the illegal acts of poachers.”

Although poaching still remains a threat to wild life in Uganda and neighboring countries, there are strong efforts between the Police, NRCN and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and other entities, to curb the vice and protect Uganda’s wild species.

And In a separate incident, three other traffickers from Rwanda were arrested by NRCN and Kiira road police at Mackies Restaurant in Kamwokya a city suburb in Kampala they were Emmanuel Muhoozi 29, Banakwe Celestine 63 and Atamba Mike Junior arrested with one mature leopard skin. Both are Rwandese nationals and currently detained at Kira Road police station waiting to appear in court on Wednesday 27.

During the investigation, the accused confessed to procuring the skin from a remote village of Rwanda and also admitted to have crossed the border illegally without any legal documentation.  All the alleged wildlife traders were booked under various sections of the Wildlife Protection and control Act of Uganda.


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