By Jeff Andrew Lule
Police plan to block the return of a consignment of seized ivory to a dealer as instructed by Justice Wilson Masalu Musene.
On Friday, the director of Interpol Uganda, Asan Kasingye said despite the court’s ruling, they will not allow to release the ivory easily in respect of Uganda’s commitment towards the conservation of the endangered species within the East African Customs and international convention.
Uganda Revenue Authority impounded 836 pieces of ivory in October last year, weighing approximately 3000kgs. The ivory was concealed in a container belonging to Ken Freight Forwarders in Bweyogerere, Wakiso district at the time of seizure.
Kasingye said though the owner Emille Kayumba Ogane, a Congolese national, claims to have imported the ivory from Congo through Bunagana border post lawfully, they need him to come and clearly explain how and where he got the ivory.
“It is very unfair to make such a ruling because someone claimed to have got the ivory from elsewhere. The world was very surprised with the ruling and all eyes are watching us. Can you imagine over 400 elephants were killed to get this ivory,” Kasingye said.
Kasingye stressed that the trade in ivory contravenes with the East African Customs Management Act 2004 and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species that puts stringent conditions on dealing in such endangered species.
“We think this case needed more time to work with all stakeholders before coming to a conclusion,” he noted.
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Police to defy court ruling on impounded ivory