Over 100 arrested in Uganda and Kenya over cyber wildlife trafficking – AWF

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has revealed that a collaborative cyber crime investigation with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has led to the arrest of 116 people in Uganda and Kenya involved in illegal wildlife trafficking online using the dark web.

The UWA Country Manager Wildlife Crime and Investigations Maj Joshua karamaji said 32 people of the total 116 were arrested after two operations dubbed Fata poacher 1 and Fata poacher 2 were carried out this year in three national parks and kampala metropolitan area.

“During the month of May 2021, the first operation dubbed operation Fata Poacher I took place for eight days within Murchison Falls Conservation Area. 16 suspects were arrested and twelve cases were registered by UWA. The second operation dubbed operation Fata Poacher 2 was conducted in June and July this year with a wider scope; Kampala Metropolitan, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Kibale Conservation Area. 17 suspects were arrested and 14 cases registered by UWA” he said.

Maj karamaji (3rd L) was speaking at the opening of a two day Wildlife judicial and prosecution support debrief meeting held at Protea Hotel Entebbe on Tuesday on the two operations in order to assess the results and deliberate on areas of potential improvement in the operations. Photo ADB

The country Director AWF Mr Sudi Bamulesewa said the African Wildlife Foundation cybercrime program started in 2019 will prevent wildlife trafficking through enhancing wildlife cybercrime investigations and interventions, train and build capacity of law enforcers to combat wildlife cybercrime.

“The goal of the program is to reduce or stop trafficking in wildlife products using online, digital and electronic platforms and disrupt criminal networks engaging in illegal online wildlife trade” he noted.

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