Police finds Shs60m ivory at UPDF Gen Otema farm

Maj Gen Charles Otema-Awany

Police has arrested Opunya Edwin, a farm manager at Gen. Otema Awany’s farm in Pakwach district over illegal ivory trade.

The army’s reserve force commander, Maj Gen Charles Otema-Awany, recently appeared before the land inquiry to answer accusations of illegal and forceful eviction of people in Acholi sub-region.

In one incident, Dr Oweka, a resident of Got Okwara in Lungulu sub-county, accused the general of malicious destruction of property and forceful eviction off his 350 acres by soldiers sent by Otema-Awany.

His farm manager and nephew Opunya was found with over 150 kilogrammes of ivory worth Shs60m during an operation by police and Natural Resources Conservation Network officers.

Opunya told police he got the ivory from Nwoya district and transferred it to Pakwach as he looked for market.

Victoria University

Opunya is currently detained at Central Police Station in Kampala. He will be arraigned at the wildlife court on Buganda Road and charged with unlawful possession of a protected species contrary to Sections 30 and 75 (b) of the Uganda Wildlife Act CAP 200 which provides for the offence of unlawful possession of protected species.

Last week, Police Flying Squad Unit in West Nile Region recovered 100 kilograms of ivory and arrested three suspects in connection to the illicit trade.

Josephine Anguncia, West Nile Regional Spokeswoman, she said that towards the end of last week, police arrested three (3) people with a total of 100kgs of Ivory from Arua and Maracha districts.

She said that Police has in custody one Ewai Abel 52 years, a Boda boda rider from Arua town, Ndaaba Icaku, 47years, a Congolese national, and Okuni James, 40year, resident of Oleba Sub county in Maracha district.

Ewai was arrested in Arua town with 67 kgs of ivory, Icaku and Okuni were arrested at Simbili border entry with 33kgs.