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UGANDA: Five detained over poaching

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KAMPALA – Police has arrested five suspects following an intelligence report about a gang of notorious poachers in the areas of Nwoya and Oyam.

According to CID Spokesperson Twiine Charles, it is alleged that the poachers were in possession of so many illegal guns, that were not only used for poaching but also in terrorizing the people especially travelers along Kampala-Pakwach-Arua Road, and robberies in some homesteads.

“Intelligence reports indicated that the poaching in the Murchison national park was highly organized involving various people that connive to commit the crime and even dealing in illicit trafficking of wildlife species,” he said.

Twiine said one Ongomo Peter, a notorious poacher was arrested and on interrogation, he revealed to the investigators that he bought one of the guns from a police officer whom he identified as Opiyo Andrew attached to Jinja Road Police Station, at UGX. 2m.

“Ongomo asserted that he was connected to the Police Officer (Seller) by his brother in-law called Akona Fred a resident of Naguru Kampala in 2016,” Twiine noted in a statement dated August 7,2020.

Following this revelation, Twiine further noted that PC Opiyo Andrew Steven, attached to Jinja Road Police Station and CPL Emaru Richard, the In-Charge armory at Jinja Road were arrested and interrogated accordingly.

“Although they denied the allegations, the investigators clearly established that the gun as revealed by Opiyo is a Police gun that was signed fraudulently by a hoax name at Jinja Road Police Station, unfortunately, destined to the hands of criminals,” reads an excerpt.

According to Twiine, during the course of the operation, the joint team was also able to identify and profile some people who are in possession of illegal guns and these culprits are vigorously being pursued.

“The recovered guns are going to be examined with the view of among other things to establish whether they have been used at any other murder cases that have been reported and scenes of crime examined by the investigators, and if the results of the examined guns come to be positive, then inevitably the suspects will be interrogated to establish their involvement in such vicious crimes,” reads the statement in part.

He warned the culprits who are still at large to surrender the guns that are illegally in their possession and handover themselves, or else they risk being put out of action, “for we cannot afford to allow these criminals to keep terrorizing the community as well as poaching restricted wildlife species,” he added.

Twiine said the investigations that commenced following this operation are nearly concluded and on completion, the suspects will be charged of various crimes as provided for by the law.

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