The Standard Utilities and Wildlife Court remanded Zubair Alahai Dramadri over possession of prohibited goods and wildlife products without a wildlife use right.
KAMPALA - Two men have been charged over illegal possession of pangolin scales worth sh1.1b.
The Standard Utilities and Wildlife Court based at Buganda Road in Kampala has remanded Zubair Alahai Dramadri over possession of prohibited goods and wildlife products without a wildlife use right.
Dramadri, 48 was charged together with Achileo Byarugaba, 37 who did not appear in court on allegations that he was sick.
The accused appeared before Grade One Magistrate, Marion Mangeni for a plea and denied the charges.
The offence contravenes section 30 and 75 (B) of the Uganda Wildlife Act Cap 200.
If convicted, the accused will be liable to five years imprisonment or a fine equal to 50 percent of the value of the goods involved, or both.
The state prosecutor Winnie Namayanja informed the court that investigations in the matter were completed.
"Your honor, investigations are done and two witnesses are ready to testify against the accused," Namayanja said.
Upon entering the witness stand, Emmanuel Okwi, a security officer attached to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) told the court that the accused were found with 99.16kgs of pangolin scales which they were yet to sell.
However, the accused told the court that he did not know what the witness as talking about.
"The witness should be arrested instead, he's telling lies to this court, and I have never possessed the exhibits presented in court," Dramadri said
Prior to the accused submissions, the trial magistrate adjourned the case to October 1, 2019, for the hearing of all the remaining witnesses.
"For the interest of time and other pending cases, I will listen to the remaining witnesses on the next date of this case.
It is then that I will also listen to the accused bail application, you are therefore remanded till then," Mangeni ruled as she adjourned the case.
The prosecution contends that the accused and another one still at large on June 28, 2019, at Yowa Guest House, Nankulabye in Kampala district had in their possession 99.16kgs of pangolin scales valued at over sh1.1b.