Operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) on Friday arrested a Guinean national, for possession of 12 kilograms of ivory worth about Shs 40m.
Kourouma Bangaly, 33, lives in Lubaga, a Kampala suburb. Intelligence sources said CMI swooped for him after a tipoff about cheap ivory on sale.
“After getting standby orders, we called Mr Bangaly and told him that we wanted to buy ivory but we needed samples before,” one CMI source said.
Bangaly agreed to meet the ‘prospective buyers’ at a hotel at Bakuli in Lubaga division, where he arrived with four people in a Toyota Premio car. They were arrested on arrival and taken to Central police station for interrogation.
Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman, confirmed Bangaly’s arrest.
“It is true we have Bangaly in our custody and we are investigating the source of the ivory,” Onyango said, adding that after investigation, the suspect will be charged with illegal possession of wildlife products.
Onyango said Bangaly’s visa expired five months ago and he had been staying in Uganda illegally. But speaking at CPS shortly after his arrest, Bangaly denied owning the ivory.
“I don’t have any knowledge about the said ivory,” he said. “It belonged to my friends who took off after learning that police was going to arrest them.”