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 Three arrested over illegal possession of ivory

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The Criminal Investigations Directorate –CID has arrested three people over illegal possession of ivory valued at 76 million shillings.

Charles Twine, the CID Spokesperson says that the suspects Dickens Opio, Denis Otuku and James Oluyi, were arrested from Oyam district.

Twine, who is also the CID spokesperson, said the trio was found with six pairs of ivory in Murchison Falls National Park.

Twine said the preliminary investigations indicate the suspects killed the elephants for purposes of getting bush meat and also extracting tasks for selling.

Police say the team was being commanded by a retired police officer Denis Oluyi and he was boasting how he was going to buy a motor vehicle from the proceeds.

Oluyi is a retired officer in the special police of former President Milton Obote. These suspects had committed various crimes related to world life. Twine said they will be charged with unlawful possession of protected species under the Uganda Wild Life Act section 36 and 71.

With unlawful possession of protected species, the culprits could be landed a life imprisonment sentence upon successful prosecution.

Twine said detectives have also got information that the suspects at one time killed their colleague during their poaching practice. Police has identified the deceased as Jimmy Etuku.

Police have already retrieved the alleged killer weapon which will be used as evidence in the murder of Etuku.

Uganda Wildlife Authority –UWA records of 2018 show 648 cases of illegal possession of wildlife protected species were registered. This gave a 3.5 percent rise compared to 626 cases recorded in 2017.

CID director AIGP Grace Akullo explained that 447 were taken to court whereby 269 secured conviction, eight were acquitted; twenty-six dismissed and 144 were still pending in court.

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