In Summary
  • Decorative ivory stolen from State House in Mombasa was found in the consignment that originated from Uganda— raising fears that influential personalities in Kenya and Uganda are behind the illegal business.
  • In Kampala, Mr Moses Olinga, a warden in charge of law enforcement at Uganda Wildlife Authority, says Uganda is among the gang of eight in Africa where ivory trafficking takes place. 

An international poaching and ivory smuggling syndicate in the region is using shell import and export firms, and clearing and forwarding companies in Kenya and Uganda to facilitate their illicit trade, investigations indicate.

A search at the registrar of companies in Uganda has revealed that Gisenya Freight Limited, Comos Freightnal Limited, which have been linked to more than 10 tonnes of ivory intercepted at the Port of Mombasa, do not exist in the database of the Uganda Registration Service Bureau.

And the files of Uwezo Enterprises Ltd and Three Ways Freighters Ltd, both of Mombasa, are also not in the records of Kenya’s Registrar of Companies— explaining why no arrests have been made in connection with the multi-million ivory seized four months ago.

Questions are now being raised as to how the huge ivory consignments, which originated from Uganda, were cleared by the country’s revenue authority without verification of the cargo and the firms involved.

Decorative ivory stolen from State House in Mombasa was found in the consignment that originated from Uganda— raising fears that influential personalities in Kenya and Uganda are behind the illegal business.

In Kenya, two influential Coast businessmen, a central Kenya MP and a Rift Valley governor have been linked to the runaway poaching and ivory smuggling.

Police officers, Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Revenue Authority officials conversant with investigations into the matter say names of the three have featured in the banned trade.

The three are reportedly part of an international ivory smuggling ring operating in the country. They have been linked to containers full of ivory intercepted at the Port of Mombasa in August and September.

In Kampala, Mr Moses Olinga, a warden in charge of law enforcement at Uganda Wildlife Authority, says Uganda is among the gang of eight in Africa where ivory trafficking takes place. 

He says the smugglers are ahead of the game— they have built a very large network with criminal syndicates, which allows them to pass through the country undetected and even have passports, which makes it hard to track them.

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