Chief Magistrate’s court in Rukungiri has remanded Pte Julius Mbusa alias Mumbere, a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier over illegal possession of ivory.
Pte Mbusa appeared before Plaff Rutakirwa, the Rukungiri Chief Magistrate on Friday.
The court heard that on December 2, Pte Mbusa was arrested by national park officials from Bwambara Sub County with three ivory tusks weighing 2.5kilogrammes which he allegedly picked from an elephant he had killed in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
He was not allowed to enter any plea and was remanded to Rukungiri government prison until December 23 when he will be returned to court.
The same court also remanded Yoramu Musinguzi, a resident of Kikarara Bwambara in Rukungiri District for killing a wild pig from Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Musinguzi was picked up from Garuka trading centre on December 3, 2016 when he was found selling pork from a tip off by crime preventers that he had slaughtered a wild pig. He also remanded to Rukungiri government prison until December 23rd when his case will come up for mention.
Cases of ivory smuggling have been on the increase in Uganda.
In February this year, five Vietnamese were convicted for smuggling ivory and unlawful possession of protected species.
The suspects; Hoang Manh Hong 31, Thai Xuan Sanh 26, Nguyen Mau Manh 34, Ha Van Ba 36, and Troong Cong Dinh 29, all residents of Bunga, a Kampala suburb, were arrested last year by the Aviation Police while attempting to smuggle ivory out of Uganda.
Two of them; Hoang Manh Hong and Thai xuan sanh were arrested at Entebbe International Airport on November 30, 2015 as they attempted to smuggle out two wooden boxes containing 36kilogrannes of ivory and 3kilogrammes of rhino horns valued at $187,520 (about Shs644 million then).
The others were arrested at their residence on December 3, 2015 at Bunga-soya, a Kampala suburb and found in possession of 9kilogrannes of polished and unpolished ivory valued at $104,894 (about Shs360 million then).