Ivory dealer gets life Imprisonment

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The standards, Utilities and Wildlife court sentenced Pascal Ochiba to Life imprisonment for unlawful possession of protected species.

Ochiba was arrested on January 18th, 2022 in Namuwongo zone, Kampala after being found in possession of two pieces of elephant ivory weighing 9.55 kilograms without a wildlife use right.

While sentencing Ochiba, the Chief Magistrate of the Standards, Utilities and Wildlife court, Her Worship Gladys Kamasanyu said that the sentence is to deter many dealers from the offence.

โ€œOffences of unlawful possession of protected species are rampant and there is need to curb them down. Uganda is home to the Worldโ€™s most known wildlife that need to be protected.โ€

Ochiba was described as a habitual offender having been charged and convicted by the same court in 2017.

On July 4th, 2017, he was arrested from Namuwongo after being found with four pieces of ivory, a dry skin of okapi and he was sentenced to eighteen months in jail for both counts.

The Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Sam Mwandha ย described the sentence as a landmark achievement in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.

โ€œThis is a landmark achievement in our war on illegal wildlife trade in Uganda. We must do our best in our times to protect our wildlife otherwise history will judge us harshly.โ€ he said

It should be noted that elephants are protected under appendix 1 of the convention on international trade on endangered species of wild fauna and flora.

The international Union for conservation of nature (IUCN) also lists the African forest elephant as critically endangered and the African Savannah elephant as endangered.

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