Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT A security team comprising of officers from the Criminal Investigations Directorate – CID and Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF have recovered another UPDF gun in the ongoing hunt for poachers in Murchison National Park.
Assistant Commissioner of Police – ACP Francis Olugu said the UPDF gun was recovered from one Richard Otim alias Uganda, a poacher based at Pogo village, Acimi Parish, in Oyam District.
ACP Olugu, who is the head of CID’s general crimes department, said Otim fled the scene abandoning the gun when the UPDF and police team surrounded his hideout. The suspect is also a wanted UPDF deserter.
“Otim had positioned himself ready to shoot anyone who confronted him. We ambushed him unknowingly and he eventually abandoned the gun. Our team is still pursuing him inside Murchison National Park and we are sure he will be arrested,” said ACP Olugu.
UPDF team led by Col. Allan Kyagungu, head of National Task Force for Wildlife and ACP Olugu have been hunting for poachers in Murchison for the last three weeks. UPDF, CID launched an operation against poachers after it was reported that a number of wild animals particularly elephants, buffaloes and antelopes had been gunned down during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A UPDF gun was last Wednesday recovered from another army deserter identified as Charles Ongom. Police said he escaped from the force with a rifle he was using to hunt and kill wild animals.
“Ongom was found with UPDF gun number S/NO 56-131006255 and his case is registered on CRB 159/2020. He is facing charges of desertion, being in possession of government stores and poaching,” Olugu said last week.
So far six poachers have been handed over to UPDF for trial in the General Court Martial since this year began. Those already charged in the Court Martial include; Odongo Yako, Okor Ochuli, Odongo Achado and William Olugu. These were found using army rifles to kill wild animals and stage robberies.
UPDF, CID has so far arrested 14 suspects in the last three weeks including two police officers attached to Jinja Road police station. The police officers identified as Police Constable Andrew Opio and Corporal Richard Iramo reportedly sold a gun to poachers at 2 million shillings.