Three Arrested for Possession of Suspected Rhino and Hippopotamus Teeth

Three suspects are in custody at Kiryandongo Central Police Station for the illegal possession of wildlife products. The suspects are Bernard Enying, 29, a resident of Kigumba Town Council, Eston Nyitu, 33, a resident of Kibiramatu village in Kigumba Sub County, and John Onek, 47, a resident of Nanda village in Nyamaswa Sub County.

The three suspects were arrested on Saturday after being found in possession of 134 pieces of suspected rhino and hippopotamus teeth, weighing 45 kg. According to Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson, the police and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) were able to apprehend the suspects after receiving intelligence-led information and a tip-off from a whistleblower.

Bashir Hangi, the Communications manager at UWA, called on communities living near national parks to appreciate the benefits of wildlife conservation and protect the survival of wildlife.

He suspected that the suspects could be wildlife traffickers or being used by them to traffic illegal wildlife products through Uganda. Hangi appealed to citizens not to allow themselves to be used by wildlife traffickers.

Kiryandongo District borders Murchison Falls National Park, and it is not clear whether the suspects killed protected species in the park to obtain the wildlife products.

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