Gov’t Probes ‘Chinese-linked’ Ivory Smugglers

Gov’t Probes ‘Chinese-linked’ Ivory Smugglers

By Serestino Tusingwire

President Yoweri Museveni has ordered for the investigation into Uganda Wildlife Authority to find out whether its staff conspired with Chinese diplomats to export illegal ivory.

It should be noted that five senior officials were suspended two years ago after it was discovered that confiscated ivory had gone missing from UWA strong room.

Uganda Police have made several large seizures of ivory since then – some destined for Singapore.

Uganda is thought to be a major transit point for trafficking ivory from the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, Chinese government has refuted the conspiracy allegation saying it’s “totally unfounded”.

“We have rigorous regulations and laws on governmental officials, embassy members, and visiting groups to forbid them from buying or engaging in [smuggling] activities,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

“We will punish them if they are found to be engaged in such activities,” she added.