Police Officers Pose As Buyers to Trap Ivory Dealers (Kampala, Uganda)


Betty Ndagire, The Monitor

Date Published

A police officer has told Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court that
they disguised as ivory buyers to arrest two UPDF officers and four
civilians charged over illegal possession of 12 pieces of elephant

Mr Francis Taka, a detective inspector of police with the Police
Flying Squad, in his testimony before magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu,
yesterday said on March 26, he led a team of police officers and
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) staff to Hotel Africana to arrest the

The suspects include Cpl Collins Kamugisha of the Special Forces
Command (SFC) and Maj Allan Rutagira, of Mbuya barracks.

“Two members on my team, who were police informers, disguised as
buyers and entered the Hotel Africana premises. They moved close to a
red Audi car where Cpl Kamugisha and Maj Rutagira showed the items,”
Mr Taka said.


He said upon the assumed buyers being shown the ivory, they alerted
the other police officers on the team who quickly arrested the two
soldiers with the ivory. However, the third suspect, who was with the
duo, fled.

Other suspects who were arrested later in connection with this offence
are Mr Simon Mbonye, 53, a miner; Mr Able Bamonjobora, a State House
driver, Mr George Otika, an accountant at Entebbe Handling Services,
and Mr Alex Sande, 45, a businessman.

They were charged with unlawful possession of protected species,
accepting transfer of protected species, and conspiracy to commit an
offence of being in possession of protected species.

The elephant tusks were also presented before court as an exhibit.