Last week, Lt. Chol Malou John (42 years) migration officer attached to Nimule in South Sudan and 1st Lt. Arop Ochan Dennis Lotyang (38 years) were arrested for attempting to sell a pangolin at UGX15m ($4096).
It was handed over to Uganda Wildlife Authority [UWA] and the suspects held for charging in courts.
Wildlife Conservation Society, Uganda on Monday said a one, Lucam Albino was arrested in possession of ivory and is currently detained at Abim Police Station.
This is the second seizure by the National Wildlife Crime Coordination Task Force in Uganda two weeks after inauguration.
A new law enforcement team, led by Focused Conservation, is stopping wildlife crime in its tracks and creating a model for success in tackling the illegal wildlife trade.
Since its launch in July, the Wildlife Crime Unit has carried out 120 undercover operations which have led to 40 wildlife trafficking related arrests and the seizure of 3/4 ton of ivory.
A new law enforcement team is stopping wildlife crime in its tracks and creating a model for success in tackling the illegal wildlife trade.
Led by the nonprofit, Focused Conservation, the Special Wildlife Crime Unit (SWCU) is a vetted team comprised of investigators, police officers and lawyers who carry out undercover investigations, make arrests and ensure successful prosecutions of wildlife traffickers.
Each year, an estimated 20,000 African elephants are killed for their tusks. The ivory trade not only threatens the survival of this iconic species, it also undermines national security, destabilizes communities and funds violent extremism across the globe.
Uganda is one of the most common wildlife trafficking transit points in Central and East Africa.
In addition to signaling to wildlife traffickers that the game has changed, the SWCU is also cracking down on corruption, one of the major drivers of the illegal wildlife trade.
On February 11th, undercover SWCU officers arrested a serving Ugandan police officer who was attempting to sell ivory as well as pangolin scales, another illegal wildlife product.
In a letter of recognition regarding Focused Conservation’s efforts, David Hubbard, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent in Charge of International Operations, said “Focused Conservation has selected, vetted and trained a cadre of law enforcement officers that are quickly becoming the backbone of Uganda’s international wildlife trafficking efforts.
The SWCU has become a model of success in building national partners’ investigative and prosecution skills, along with building regional and international cooperation among neighbouring countries and other non-governmental organizations operating in the international wildlife trafficking field.”