Mbarara man arrested with 33kg of ivory (Uganda)


Godfrey Ssali, The Independent

Date Published

See link for photo. 

Kampala: Police in Mbarara District with help from Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) have arrested one man in possession of 33.8kgs of elephant tusks worth Sh13.5 million. 

Jackson Baluku, 42, a motor vehicle broker and a resident of Lower Zone Base Camp Kasese Municipality Kasese district and a Ugandan citizen was arrested with a product from a protected  species. This was during a transaction in Mbarara town.

According to Baluku’s confession, this is not the first time he is being arrested while dealing in wildlife species.

In 2015, he was arrested and convicted with 4 others for being in possession of ivory while in the same year he was arrested for allegedly providing a hyenas liver which would have been used to poison some high ranking government officials.

The suspect is currently being detained at Mbarara Central Police station where he will be further questioned then arraigned in court.

According to the Natural Resource Conservation Network Head of Legal and Prosecution Massa Leonard, Baluku will be charged with; unlawful possession of a protected species contrary to Sections 30 and 75 (b) of the Uganda Wildlife Act CAP 200

If convicted, the punishment is a fine of not less than 1m or not more than 5 years imprisonment and in any case the fine must be not less than the value of the wildlife product involved.

According to the O.C CID Mbarara D/ASP Mutabazi Bosco, the offence of wildlife trafficking is not rampant in the district.