Police arrest man with wild animal scales
Police in Kampala are holding a man who was reportedly found in possession of 115 kilogrammes of pangolin scales worth about Shs276 million in his car.
The suspect, who was arrested along Entebbe Road, is said to have been destined to his Chinese clients in Kampala for onward export.
“There is a lucrative market for pangolin scales in Asia and Europe because they are often used instead of ivory to make jewellery, ornaments and hand-held weapons,” Uganda Wildlife Authority Spokesperson Lilian Nsubuga said.
Ms Nsubuga said the pangolin population is under threat because of their lucrative market in Asia, where their remains are also reported to be used in the manufacture of traditional medicine.
Pangolins are small, squirrel-size animals whose bodies are covered in big scales, as hard as ivory or rhino horn. The animal is locally known in Luganda as Olugave, one of the popular cultural totems among the Baganda.
Ms Nsubuga said the suspect admitted that he buys a kilogramme of the scales at Shs50,000 and sells to middlemen at Shs100,000. The wild animal’s scales are, however, sold at $1,000 (about Shs2.5 million) per kilogramme on the international market.
By Martin Ssebuyira, Daily Monitor
Do you have a story or an article to publish? Please email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.