Operatives from Police and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in a joint operation arrested two suspects on Sunday for illegal possession of wildlife protected species particularly a pangolin valued at 10 million shillings.
The suspects according to police are Bosco Mukasa 34, who is the LC I Chairperson of Kiganda Village, Nyamarunde Sub-county in Kibaale district, and another called Simon Kyakwahuwre.
The two were arrested from Kibaale district and transferred to Central Police Station in Kampala where investigations are being carried out.
“It’s Standard Utility and Wildlife Court based at Buganda Road Court that handles such cases, that is why the suspects are being handled at CPS Kampala,” said Patrick Onyango the Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson.
In a report, Police said that the duo were arrested after a tip-off from the residents that they deal in the species.
Officials from Uganda Wildlife Authority and Natural Resources Conservation Network were informed about the business in the area, and they got Police officers from CPS Kampala who traveled with the team to Kibaale.
“The suspects were got with a live pangolin which they were selling at Shs 10 million,” reads part of the report.
They are being charged with unlawful possession of protected species contrary to Section 36 (1) and 71 (1) (b) of the Uganda Wildlife Act, 2019.
Kampala police said that they are likely to appear in court on Wednesday.
The demand for pangolin scales and meat worldwide is driving this mammal to extinction.
Reports indicate that large scale trafficking is also accelerated by a belief that pangolin scales have magical and curative properties.