International Arrest Warrant Issued for Illegal Ivory Dealers

2491 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Owino Odhiambo, a Kenyan national and his colleague Emmile Kayumba Ogane believed to be Congolese were implicated a scandal which involved the trafficking about 1000 kilograms of ivory impounded by Uganda Revenue Authority last year.

The Anti Corruption Division of the High Court issues an international arrest warrant for two people implicated in illegal ivory trade.

Owino Odhiambo, a Kenyan national and his colleague Emmile Kayumba Ogane believed to be Congolese were implicated in a scandal which involved trafficking about 1000 kilograms of ivory impounded by Uganda Revenue Authority last year.

The duo had reportedly concealed the ivory in containers and declared them as coffee. The contraband was found in a shipping container with registration number 538 UDK/UAF 704Q.

Uganda Revenue Authority and Uganda Wildlife Authority instituted both criminal and civil suits against the duo at High Court in Kampala and Nakawa Division Magistrates Court.

The two were consequently charged with being in possession of prohibited goods contrary to section 200(d)(i) of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004.

However, they claimed that they had a license to deal in ivory and counter sued URA and UWA demanding that heir ivory be released. They have however gone into hiding and are suspected to be in Kenya.

On 12th February 2014, the case came up for mention presided over by Grade One Magistrate Dorothy Lwanga at Anti Corruption Court at Kololo and the two were absent.

The legal team of Uganda Revenue Authority and Uganda Wildlife Authority asked for international warrants to have the two produced in court. The court accordingly issued the warrant and adjourned the matter to 7th March 2014, when it will come up for mention.

Simplicious Gessa, the Public Relations Officer at Uganda Wildlife Authority says the international arrest warrant gives them a better chance to fish out the suspected criminals from their hideout.

He says Interpol will now be expected to track down the suspects and bring them to answer for their crimes.

Uganda is currently struggling with big amounts of ivory being confiscated from different entry and exit points in the country. Over 5000 kilograms of illegal ivory is being kept at UWA stores, URA stores in Nakawa and Entebbe.