By Mirembe Martina
Ivory worth Sh1.2 billion was impounded by URA at the airport as it was being sneaked into the country.
According to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the ivory was concealed in polythene bags and they were headed to Malaysia. They were recovered by Julius Rubagumya, the Entebbe Airport Customs Manager who said the items belonged to a man identified as Brian Michael.
It is believed that Brian Micheal hired an agent to clear the Ivory on his behalf, according to Rubagumya. “The items had been cleared as personal items of the exporter. However, on checking we discovered that the suitcases contained Ivory,” he explained.
The alleged agent is in custody and his identity was concealed to help in the investigation. “Right now we cannot tell the origin of this Ivory. It could be from one of the neighboring countries. The investigation will generate information regarding the trophies,” he said.
The Ivory is to be handed over to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) once investigations are complete. However, UWA Senior Warden, Samuel Amanya said the recovered ivory did not tally with “recent data regarding dead elephants”, implying that the Ivory may be from a nearby country.