Pastors held For Illicit Wildlife Trade

2136 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Chris Ahimbisibwe, the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Department at Kampala Central Police Station identifies the suspects as John Kiiza and Christopher Kato, both pastors in Nansana in Wakiso district and Prince Kazanga, a Congolese national.

Kampala Police are holding three suspects for illicit wildlife trade. Chris Ahimbisibwe, the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Department at Kampala Central Police Station identifies the suspects as John Kiiza and Christopher Kato, both pastors in Nansana in Wakiso district and Prince Kazanga, a Congolese national.
 
The suspects are being held under CRB REF/63/30/09/16. The trio was picked up from Busabala road in Makindye Division on Monday with 13 kilograms of ivory, 17 kilograms of pangolin scales and eight pangolin horns.
 
"We have found animal materials in one of their houses that suggest that the three suspects are part of a transnational gang that is dealing in ivory in the country," Ahimbisibwe said.
 
Adding that, "This is an indication that almost five elephants, four pangolins were killed to get the animal trophies from them," adding that, "Police has launched an investigation to identify where the three suspects were taking the animal trophies and the exact place they got them."
 
Police and officials from the Natural Resource Conservation Network-NRCN acted on a tip off from concerned residents who knew about the illicit wildlife trade. The suspects were in the process of selling off the items to a local businessman, who is on the run at Shillings 70 million.
 
Section 30 and 75 (b) prohibits the use of wildlife without a wildlife use right. It states that no person may engage in any of the activities under section 29 or any other activities of a like nature which involve the utilisation of wildlife and wildlife products without first obtaining a grant of a wildlife use right.

Demand for Pangolin meat as a delicacy is high among the newly affluent parts of China and in Vietnam, while the animal's scales have been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine for unproven health benefits. The illicit capture and trade in Pangolin scales has been on the increase in Uganda because of the attractive market in China. 

 

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