Ugandan presidential aide in turtle smuggling scandal

Leopard tortoiseFrom New Vision in Uganda:

Uganda: Presidential Aide Cited in Scam

March 11, 2007

Gerald Tenywa

THE case in which an illegal consignment of 250 endangered tortoises was seized in Nairobi has taken a new twist, with the Uganda Wildlife Authority claiming that two of the suspects implicated in the scam have not been prosecuted.

Moses Mapesa, the executive director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), named the suspects as Yekoyadah Nuwagaba, a presidential adviser and Smith Ewa Maku, a Kampala businessman.

Mapesa said the suspects were implicated after a cache of tortoises to Thailand was intercepted in August at the Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi by Interpol.

He said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) preferred criminal charges on Charles Kasamba, who was arrested with the tortoises, but did not advise the authority on whether to undertake further investigations on Nuwagaba and Maku.

He said Maku was the original holder of the CITES permit meant for export of 250 leopard tortoises, who sold the permit after it expired, to Kasamba.

CITES regulates trade in wildlife and restricts trade in endangered species like leopard tortoises.

Uganda deforestation here.

Marine turtle smuggling in Indonesia: here.

Gopher tortoises in the USA: here. And here.

4 thoughts on “Ugandan presidential aide in turtle smuggling scandal

  1. Uganda: 40 Tortoises Impounded in Nairobi

    New Vision (Kampala)

    March 12, 2007
    Posted to the web March 12, 2007

    Reuben Olita in Nairobi And Gerald Tenywa in Kampala

    KENYAN police on Sunday impounded 40 live tortoises in Nairobi, believed to have been enroute to a foreign country from Uganda.

    The incident comes barely eight months after Kenyan detectives impounded 228 tortoises from Entebbe. The animals are still in the hands of Kenya wildlife authorities at the animal orphanage in Nairobi.
    Africa 2007

    Kenya Wildlife Society (KWS) officials said detectives from the Lusaka Agreement Task Force are investigating the origin of the leopard tortoises being kept at the KWS headquarters on Langata road .

    Last July, the police nabbed 228 tortoises at Jommo Kenyatta International Airport that were being exported on a fake expired license.

    Yesterday, KWS corporate communications officer, Gichuki Kabukuru said: “they were quarantined here for a short while. It is up to UWS (Uganda Wildlife Society) to collect the animals from Nairobi.”

    He added that no one was arrested as the animals were being exported as a parcel from Smith Maku in Uganda to Attiya Sriduang in Thailand.

    KWS doctor Isaac Lekolool, who has been taking care of the animals, said: “We had hoped to keep them in a room in the KWS offices for a short period of time, but the delay by UWS to collect the animals might force us to look for another home for them.”

    Lekolool said some of the animals were critically ill at the time they were seized and died over time. He did not give the numbers.

    “The remaining animals are in good health and are on a special diet of vegetables.”
    Relevant Links

    The tortoises are kept in a small room with an open roof and are fed once a day, which Lekolool said was enough for them.

    Some of the impounded tortoises were too small to warrant exportation.

    “I really don’t know the intentions of the person who meted such schemes,” the doctor said.

    Copyright © 2007 New Vision


  2. Pingback: Ugandan army accused of massacring children | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Turtle smuggling discovered in China | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Criminal leopard tortoise trade discovery at airport | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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