Uganda Revenue Authority has today handed over 176 pieces of Ivory weighing 162 kilograms, 189 pieces of Warthog and Hippo teeth weighing 38 kilograms, 19 Monitor Lizard skin weighing three kilograms and three animal bones totaling three kilograms.
Recovered in separate incidents, the items were yesterday handed over to Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) personnel at the URA head office in Nakawa, Kampala.
On November 23, 2011, a suspect only identified as Nicholas was intercepted in Pakwach while trying to dispatch 10 pieces of Ivory weighing 27 Kilograms, Warthog and Hippo teeth. Wrapped in small packages, he handed them over to his in-law, a charcoal transporter for delivery to Kampala. One Okello was to receive them in Kampala. Despite being concealed in the charcoal, the enforcement personnel recovered the items in addition to arresting Nicholas. He was handed over the UWA Personnel.
And on, January 27, 2012 URA enforcement personnel recovered 10 Kilograms of Monitor Lizard skin, which were being ferried out of Uganda via Lake Victoria. However, the person, who was exporting them, disappeared.
The other items including 99 pieces of polished Ivory, were recovered in recent incidents and have since been in the URA warehouse pending hand over to UWA.
On 4 April 2009, 100 pieces of ivory weighing 35 Kilograms were recovered from a Kampala bound bus along the Mbarara-Masaka highway.
On 21st December, 2010, a Chinese National, Li Wejian was arrested at Entebbe International Airport while trying to export jewelry and other pieces made out of Ivory. The items were confiscated and he was immediately deported to China.
On 15, July, 2011 enforcement personnel at Katuna, South Western Uganda recovered 54 Kilograms of Ivory, which one Keita Mousa had smuggled from Bujumbura to Kenya via Kampala.
On 9, January, 2011, enforcement personnel at Mpondwe at the Uganda-DRC boarder recovered 250 parrots, which were smuggled to Uganda. They were handed over to the Uganda Wildlife Education Center.
URA’s ROLE VS A VIZ WILDLIFE
The East African Community Customs Management Act prohibits trade in items like Ivory.
While monitoring imports and exports to ensure compliance with regulations, URA assists institutions like UWA in the fight against trade in wildlife.