Police in Mbale has arrested three People while in possession of 34.6kg of ivory worth 13.8 million shillings and counterfeit Ugandan Currency worth 500,000 shillings.
Gibogi Justine 60 years old restaurant owner from North road cell, Northern Division, Mbale District, Simiyu Hussein 45 years old a house painter from Kisenyi Village Bukhasakya sub country Mbale district and Muwombi Robert 45 years old also a house painter from Bunankaiki Village Buwungu sub county Sironko District all Ugandan Citizens were arrested by the Police flying squad with help from Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN).
They were arrested during a transaction in Mbale town.
Muwombi Robert the alleged owner of the contraband says that he bought the contraband from Kotido from a one Lokeris Isaac because he heard that the business of Ivory was profitable. He alleges to have bought a Kilogram at 100,000 shillings and was going to sell each kilogram at 350,000 shillings.
Meanwhile he also alleges that a one Mulengi Peter 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 CAP 200 provides for the offence of unlawful possession of protected species and the punishment is a fine of not less than 1m or not more than 5 years imprisonment and in any case the fine must be not less than the value of the wildlife product involved.
- Conspiracy to commit a felony will also be preferred against them. Section 390 of the Penal Code Act provides for the offense of Conspiracy to commit a felony. The punishment is imprisonment for not more than 7 years.
- And being in possession of counterfeit currency, which is contrary to section 361 of the penal code act. This attracts a maximum penalty of 10 years in Jail.
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.