NWOYA — The police’s Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) has deployed over 10 detectives to hunt for poachers in the Murchison National Park, according to sources.
A source to the Kibuli based Directorate told this website that a team of 13 detectives commanded by Assistant Commissioner of Police – ACP Francis Olugu who heads CID’s general crimes desk is hunting for poachers.
“There are many cases of poaching being followed by CID. A number of animals have been poached during the COVID-19 lockdown. CID team wants to have all suspects arrested and their files should be prepared within the shortest time so that they can be prosecuted,” said the source.
Olugu who declined to share details of the mission only confirmed that he was in Murchison National Park particularly in Nwoya district for investigations related to poaching.
It is however being said that the was despatched to hunt for armed poachers and traffickers.
“These poachers are armed with guns especially in Nwoya and Oyam. They are targeting buffaloes, elephants, warthog and antelopes. These poachers eat the meat themselves but also sell to other people. They also sell other products such as tusks,” a police detective said.
CID and Uganda Wildlife Authority –UWA recorded 768 cases of poaching and wildlife trafficking in 2019 which is an 18.5 percent increase compared to 648 registered in 2018. UWA and CID attributed the increase in number of poaching and wildlife trafficking cases to enormous foot and motorised patrols.
“The increase is also attributed to vigilance at exit points like Entebbe International Airport and other border points by Law Enforcement Agencies who intercept animal and animal products,” CID report indicates.
Last year, 4457kg of Raw elephant ivory valued 12 billion shillings were recovered, 551kg of pangolin scales worth 6 billion shilling were recovered, 20 live pangolins worth 74 million shillings were also rescued.
Other wildlife species rescues from poachers and traffickers in 2019 include four live Crested cranes valued 75 million shillings, fifteen tortoises worth 3.7 million shillings were also rescued. One of the foreign nationals who were arrested in wildlife trafficking was Muazoa Karoumah, a Liberian.
Karoumah was blacklisted an International wildlife trafficking kingpin whose illegal wildlife trade stretched from East and West Africa. CID and UWA said Karoumah had associates in Uganda, Kenya and Senegal.