KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
The Ugandan police said Tuesday they have arrested seven
traffickers in the western part of the country with seizure of
ivory and hippo teeth.
commander of Flying Squad Unit, told reporters that acting on
intelligence reports they arrested the traffickers and seized
33.3 kilograms of elephant tusks and 73.7 kilograms of hippo
teeth in Rukungiri district.
“We have intensified
our operations against illegal wildlife traffickers. In the last
three days we managed to arrest seven suspects, impounded ivory
and hippo teeth,” said Muhangi.
He said the suspects
will be charged for trafficking elephant tusks and hippo teeth.
The offence is
punishable by not more than five years in prison or a fine not
less than the value of the wildlife product involved.
The ivory is likely
to have been imported from neighboring countries such as
Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Uganda is mainly
used as a transit point for smugglers of wildlife products as
the offenders take advantage of porous borders in Africa’s Great
Lakes region to move illegal wildlife products around.
Uganda has about
5,600 elephants still left, according to government figures.
Although their numbers have been rising in recent years,
elephants face sporadic poaching.