- January 23rd, 2020, a Ugandan primary teacher was arrested near the border town of Busia, Kenya, with ivory.
- He was travelling on a motorcycle with a large sack containing 42 kg of ivory and 38 kg of wildlife bones.
Ugandan arrested over ivory smuggling in Kenya loses bid to have trial held in Uganda
by George Okello, PML Daily
January 27, 2020 – BUSIA: A Ugandan primary school teacher, who was arrested last Friday for allegedly smuggling ivory into Kenya, has lost a bid to have his trial held in a Ugandan court.
Mr Joseph Ndeda, who on Monday, January 27, 2020, appeared before a Kenyan Court in Busia presided over byMagistrate Tina Madowo, was instead remanded to Busia-Kenya government prison until February 5.
Ndende lawyer Wycliffe Okutta told journalists that there was no case for his client to answer since there is no proof that he was caught trafficking ivory.
“The prosecution is at liberty to prove to this court that the accused was found in possession of ivory and that the ivory belongs to him, otherwise my client is an innocent man. We are trying to raise questions to the prosecution on whether there are reports of an elephant or elephants that were killed here in Busia-Kenya and if not, they should state the source of the ivory,” Mr Okutta said.
Mr Ndeda, a resident of Busitema Sub-county in Busia district, was on Friday last week arrested by Kenya Police after he was found smuggling 42 kilogrammes of ivory and 35 kilograms of wildlife bones. Mr Ndeda had allegedly crossed into Kenya on a motorcycle after concealing the wildlife products in sacks……………..
Ugandan teacher held in Kenya with Shs150m ivory
By DAVID AWORI
Police in Kenya are holding a Ugandan primary school teacher for allegedly smuggling 42 kilogrammes of ivory worth KShs4.2m (more than Shs150m) and 38 kilogrammes of wildlife bones into the neighbouring East African country.
Mr Joseph Ndeda, a 45-year-old resident of Buyemba Village, Busitema Sub-county in Busia District, on Friday reportedly sneaked the ivory through Marachi Village on the Ugandan side into Kenya, before being arrested and held at Busia, Kenya Police Station.
Mr John Nyoike, the Busia-Kenya County police commander, confirmed the incident and said they are awaiting the processing of relevant documents before he is arraigned in court.
“We have intercepted and impounded 42 kilogrammes of ivory that was being smuggled on a boda boda from Uganda into Kenya and we managed to arrest the smuggler,” Mr Nyoike told the media.
Daily Monitor has established that officials from Kenya Wildlife Services, acting on a tip-off, pretended to be buyers of the ivory. The teacher is yet to reveal the source of the ivory.
The operation was carried out by officials from the directorate of criminal investigations and the Kenya Wildlife Authority at the Busia border.
Mr Nyoike said when the ivory was intercepted, it had been cut into small pieces and concealed in a sack to give an impression that it was dry cassava.
The suspect’s arrest and the impounding of the ivory underlines the challenges faced by security forces in the two East African countries in combating illicit trade across the porous borders.
The ivory is reported to have been smuggled from Congo through Uganda into Kenya, and was destined to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Mr Fred Kizza, the chief warden at Mount Elgon conservation, said.
“I received information about the interception of ivory and arrest of the suspect. The arrest is as a result of the coordinated activities by multi-security agencies in combating trade in wildlife and wildlife products,” he said.
He added: “We have a big coordination syndicate involving all security agencies and international agreements with EAC member states to combat these crimes.”
Mr Kizza added that the coordination was making it hard for people involved in illicit trade to carry on with the business.
Mr Nyoike said the smuggler is set to appear in court as soon as investigations are complete.