Uganda Wildlife Authority confiscates 62kgs of ivory

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A consignment of 62kg of ivory was On Sunday night confiscated by Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers following a tip off from a security operative at the airport.

The ivory which was parked in two blue leather suitcases had already been cleared by airport security and the various organizations involved in clearing cargo for export before a whistleblower alerted UWA.

On being alerted, the UWA rangers enlisted the support of the airport police who made it possible for them to access the luggage, which had already passed through the Departures Section. On opening the bags, several pieces of raw ivory were found as well as some processed ivory which was in the form of necklaces, bangles, combs and chopsticks.

It was discovered that the illegal exporter of the ivory had checked in the luggage on Ethiopian Airlines the previous night destined for Lome in Togo. Unfortunately, his luggage was removed because the flight was overloaded. The exporter, a citizen of Guinea by the names of Mohamed Kourouma was however able to catch the flight.

The two leather bags are currently being kept at Entebbe International Airport by Aviation police , while efforts to arrest the culprit are already underway.

A few days earlier, another team of UWA officials had arrested a man in possession of 27Kg of raw ivory on Entebbe Road. The man, who had been employed in the home of a Chinese national said he had stolen the ivory from his employer as they were shifting to a new residence.

UWA is in the process of strengthening her presence at the airport in an effort to stop illegal trade in wildlife products.

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