By Watchdog reporter
Police in Bulisa district are holding two men on charges of trafficking 100kg of hippopotamus teeth valued at Shs7million.
The suspects were identified by police as Moses Oketch, 35 and Fred Byenkya, 37 who operate a local business of transacting in food stuffs. The suspects were arrested with 234 pieces of hippo teeth as they were looking for a market.
The duo, according to the locals in Wanseko sub-county are local businessmen who used trade in food stuff but later changed their business and started dealing in an illegal wildlife trade. And this made them to be known as tycoons in that rural setting of Bulisa after they increasingly became rich at their tender ages.
Police registered their case under a file number SD Ref 54/07/11/2016 and say they will be arraigned before court on Wednesday moments police finalises with the investigations.
The investigations that led to an arrest of these two men who are suspected to be the illegal wildlife traffickers in Western districts of Uganda was conducted by Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) officials jointly done by Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Police.
Police say the suspects were selling the animal merchandise at Shs70,000 per kilogramme and in total they wanted Shs7million for 100 kilogramme of the cargo.
The Chief Executive Officer of NRCN, Mr Vincent Opyene who was at the scene said, “We will never halt the illegal wildlife trade unless the public is willing to stop transacting in illegal wildlife business, which is depleting the wildlife.”
Mr Opyene urges the public to desist from being lured by the kingpins whom he says are rich people into illegal business that they know it will earn jail terms in prisons an act that will force them to be locked out of their homes.