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URA impounds ivory from Egyptian diplomat

Seruma displays impounded Ivory inside a poorly lighted room at URA head offices. PHOTO JULIUS BUSINGE

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE |  Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on August 17 displayed 65 kilograms of ivory they say they impounded from a one, Hussein Elhusseiny, an Egyptian national.

Vincent Seruma, the assistant commissioner for corporate and public affairs, told reporters at the URA headquarters on Thursday that Elhusseiny, a worker at the Egyptian Embassy in Kampala, was arrested with the items at his home at the Kampala suburb of Kamwokya.

Besides ivory, the suspect was in possession of animal skulls and other animal related items.
He was detained at Kiira Road Police Station and later released on police bond.

“We are still investigating more about this matter,” Seruma said. He said this development is important for the revenue body and for Uganda in general because of its connection with the tourism sector – one of the top foreign exchange earners for Uganda.

Ivory trading is prohibited in Uganda and the law jails anyone found doing it. Culprits are lured into trading Ivory because of the high value attached to it.

One kilogram costs anywhere around US$1, 000 (about Shs 3.6 million) in a country like China, far higher than what most animal items cost.

Seruma said the impounded ivory and other related items will be handed over to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), a government agency responsible for wildlife activities.

“UWA has the mandate and duty to make sure this property is put to safe custody,” he said.



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