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Three nabbed with Ivory, counterfeit currency in Mbale

Police in Mbale has arrested three men in possession of 34.6kg of ivory worth sh13.8 million and counterfeit sh500,000.

Gibogi Justine, 60, a restaurant owner from North Road Cell, Northern Division, Mbale District, Hussein Simiyu, 45, a house painter from Kisenyi Village Bukhasakya sub country and Robert Muwombi 45, also a house painter from Bunankaiki Village Buwungu sub county Sironko District  were arrested by the Police flying squad this week with help from Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN).

They were arrested during a transaction in Mbale town.

Muwombi, the alleged owner of the contraband, says that he bought it from Kotido from a one Isaac Lokeris  because he heard that the business of Ivory was profitable. He alleges to have bought a Kilogram at sh100,000 and was going to sell each kilogram at sh350,000.

Meanwhile he also alleges that a one Peter Mulengi is the one who gave him the counterfeit notes and denies being in possession of a counterfeit money-printing machine. The suspects are currently being transferred to Kampala Central Police station where they will be further interrogated before being arraigned before court.

According to the Natural Resource Conservation Network Head of Legal and Prosecution Massa Leonard, the three will be charged with; unlawful possession of a protected species contrary to Sections 30 and 75 (b) of the Uganda Wildlife Act

Meanwhile the Warden Elgon region National Park Captain John Muhangi says that most of the ivory that is intercepted in the Elgon region is mostly brought in from the Kenyan boarder.
He added that wildlife trafficking is not rampant in the region however, timber dealing is quite rampant in the area.

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