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KAMPALA: Youthful Gloria Nagaba, a shopkeeper in western Uganda, was left cursing after a sack she thought was containing a fortune turned her into a prisoner.
Nagaba, who is a resident of Kazinda trading center, Nyabubare sub-county in Bushenyi district, was checked into Kampala Central Police Station.
She was arrested by police in Bushenyi with help from Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) after being found in possession of 18kg of elephant tusks worth sh7.2m.
According to Nagaba, her husband brought the contraband to her shop and told her that a buyer would be coming to buy it. But it turned out that the buyers were undercover policemen and prosecutors from NRCN.
“The suspect has currently been transferred to Kampala Central Police Station where questioning is continuing and she will be arraigned in court,” said Joshua Poro, NRCN’s media and communications officer.
Leonard Massa, NRCN’s head of legal and prosecution, said the suspect will be charged with unlawful possession of a protected species contrary to Sections 30 and 75 (b) of the Uganda Wildlife Act CAP 200.
This provides for the offence of unlawful possession of protected species and the punishment is a fine of not less than one or not more than five years imprisonment and in any case the fine must be not less than the value of the wildlife product involved.
Suspect Nagaba will be charged with conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to section 390 of the Penal Code Act.
This offence attracts a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
“The aggravating factors include concealing the contraband inside a sack,” said Poro.