NEBBI. The police of Nebbi district have arrested four people including a Pastor for allegedly trading in Ivory.

The suspects were on Monday arrested in Nebbi with 84 kilograms of Ivory worth millions of shillings.

According to Ms Sharon Akello, the Natural Resources Conservation Network (NRCN) spokesperson, the suspects were arrested after an undercover investigation into their deal.

Akello identified the suspects as Pastor Richard Amos Pimer, Mr Zedia Okethi, Mr Fabio Ocan and Mr Mugisha Okello who are currently detained at Nebbi central police station (CPS).

“These suspects were also found to be in possession of National identity cards (IDs) of S. Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) alongside that of Uganda,” Akello said.

She explained that the NRCN officials with the help of police intercepted the four at Nyaravur trading centre along Nebbi- Pakwach road as they were travelling in a grey Premio car with registration number UBD 548Z.

Akello said the car has also been impounded and parked at Nebbi CPS.

“The suspects were found with Ivory contrary to the Uganda Wildlife Act and International laws prohibiting the trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna,” Akello stressed.

When contacted, Mr Bernard Mugerwa, the Nebbi district police commander (DPC) declined to comment, arguing that the matter was still under investigation.
But a source within the police that preferred anonymity revealed to us that the suspects will all be transferred to Buganda Road Court which has powers to preside over the case.

According to a recent census conducted by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda has about 5,000 elephants.

The census covered three of the largest reserves of the country namely; Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park.

However, the demand for Ivory coupled with the increasing wealth of the middle-income class in China and Vietnam is pushing elephants to the brink of extinction.