Police Issues Arrest Warrants Seized Ivory Dealers

IvorryPolice has issued two arrest warrants for two businessmen connected to the 832 pieces of ivory that were impounded by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in October last year.

The arrest warrants have been issued against a Kenyan national Owino Odhiambo, who owns Silver Shipping Limited, a Kenyan registered company that was destined to receive the ivory and also export it to China.

The second arrest warrant is for a Congolese national Kayumba Emile Ogane. Ogane claimed the impounded ivory while it was with the URA. Ogane is the director of Ogane Company Limited which instituted the proceedings in the High Court at Nakawa. Ogane has however never appeared in person in Uganda.

The two arrest warrants have been forwarded to Interpol to arrest and bring the persons for prosecution.

They are wanted for the concealment of ivory that was smuggled through the DRC-Uganda border post of Bunagana. It is alleged that the Ivory was not declared to the customs officials at the border post. The 2.9 tonnes of ivory were being transported in a Congolese trailer registration number CGO 6816 AB19.

Congolese businessman Emile Ogano hired David Ochaya to be his transport agent. Ochaya then used Ocean Freight East Africa Limited containers and delivered the ivory undocumented to the inland container depot at Bweyogerere. While arguing the case before the Nakawa High Court, the lawyers of Emile Ogane said that their client had concealed the goods to hide them from the naked eye of the robbers, an argument that the court judge Masalu Musene accepted.
Last month, the judge ordered URA to return the impounded ivory to Ogane.

Interpol Director Arsan Kasingye said Interpol would embark on the search of the suspects to deliver them to the arms of Justice.

The environmental crime desk of Interpol in Lyon, France has since expressed concern at the fate of the ivory.

To import and export ivory, one has to get a licence from the home country and also a permit to trade in ivory from CITES or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

In October last year, URA impounded a container of 822 pieces of ivory; approximately 2.9 tonnes. The ivory was destined to go to Owino Odhiambo, a Kenyan national. After it was impounded, a Congolese national, Kayumba Emile Ogane claimed the ivory from the URA and instituted a suit for its release. In a landmark ruling, the high court Judge Masalu Musene ordered for its release, a judgement that has been widely contested by both the Uganda Wildlife Authority and URA.

URA has lodged an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

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4 thoughts on “Police Issues Arrest Warrants Seized Ivory Dealers

  1. I’m sure speak for many people around the world who were outraged when they read of Judge Masalu Musene’s complete disregard for the law and the fact that
    elephants are bound for extinction in ten years. Kayumba Emile Ogane, David Ochaya and Owino Odhiambo are criminals who should be pursued and brought to swift justice.
    I urge CITES and Interpol to follow this disgraceful web through to the lawless Chinese importers and the carvers waiting to craft this #bloodivory into meaningless
    trinkets for clueless buyers.
    Sincere thanks to Interpol Director Arsan Kasingye, Minister Maria Mutagama, the teams at URA and UWA and to hundreds of activists who brought this travesty to light. I assure you there is a growing and extremely vocal group of people intent on ending this assault on Uganda and its irreplaceable wildlife.

  2. Extremely pleased at this turn of events Uganda! Well done. Please do all you can to prevent the ivory from being handed back to the Ogane and his crew. This ivory may well have been “gathered” from the sponsoring of terrorism through Joseph Kony and others in the DRC – it needs to be destroyed to show the world that Uganda is capable of good work and good decisions. The blood of hundreds of Africa’s elephants must be accounted for.

  3. Thank you to Uganda police and to Interpol for issuing these arrest warrants and searching for Owino Odhiambo and Kayumba Emile Ogane. Many people around the world are watching this issue closely, outraged that the judge made the wrongful decision that he did, and are hoping for justice. The ivory traffickers need to be arrested, tried and imprisoned, the ivory needs to be respectfully destroyed, and the elephants deserve justice for their tortuous deaths. Corruption, greed, and the killing of elephants must be stopped.

  4. A big thank you to Interpol for their intention to bring the perpetrators to justice. There are many thousands of us around the world who are working to save the African Elephant from extinction. To hear that the Ugandan High Court Judge would blithely release all this ivory for shipment to China was absolutely unbelievable. We are on the brink of an environmental catastrophe inAfrica with the imminent loss of elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, and ad infinitum. It’s no longer acceptable for ‘business as usual’ to continue. The ramifications are too dire. So once again, thank you to Interpol and to the Ugandans and others who fight to protect wildlife.

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