24 February 2024

tndNews

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Apac: Police arrest Obote’s nephew for dealing in crocodile skins 

“The suspect [Napoleon] is in the custody waiting to be taken to court for possession and illegal wildlife trades.” 
apac

Napoleon with one of the crocodile skins.

Last Updated on: 3rd July 2022, 04:18 pm

Obote is heard on a recorded audio explaining how he killed the crocodile, and how he plans to deliver the crocodile skin[s] to the buyers.


By Okot Lil Romeo

Apac – July 3, 2022: In a joint operation by the Uganda Police Force, Uganda Wildlife Authority, and Natural Resource Conservation Network, a man dealing in crocodile’s skin has been arrested. His stock has been seized.

TND News understands that the suspect was found and arrested with three pieces of crocodile skins. This digital newspaper further understands that the suspect was residing in the home of late President Dr. Apollo Milton Obote.

Obote Napoleon, 45, is also a peasant farmer. He was taken into custody by Ugandan Police after being found with crocodile skins.

“The arrest was made at the resident of former president which is located in Tetungu ward, Ayeolyec parish, Akokoro sub-county Apac district,” North Kyoga Regional Police has said.

A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the suspect is a nephew to the late President of Uganda, H.E. Milton Obote.

In his [verbal] statement Napoleon admitted guilt, adding, “I slaughtered the crocodiles and already ate the flesh.”

Furthermore, Obote is heard on a recorded audio explaining how he killed the crocodile, and how he plans to deliver the crocodile skin[s] to the buyers.

According to the country’s laws, anybody convicted of crimes related to species classified as “extinct” in the wild or critically endangered faces the highest penalty under Uganda’s Wildlife Act 2019, which is either a UGX20 million (approximately US$ 5.5-million) fine or life imprisonment, or both, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

The above Act was passed in 2019.

There have been sightings of three different crocodile species up to the 1950s, there were reports of the dwarf crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, living in rivers that flowed into Lake George.

It has not been seen in recent times, and it is probably that it has become extinct in Uganda. However, there is a chance that it might still be alive in the swampland that is located to the north of Lake George in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Outside of protected areas, crocodiles face some dangers often being killed since they are considered to be a danger to humans, and the fishermen who work on Lake Victoria and Albert are especially at risk from them. 

Even though they are not in immediate danger in Protected Areas, there is still a great deal that we do not understand about the creatures that live there.

Sharon Nagenzwa Okello is the communication officer at the natural conservation network (NCN). Sharon urged that the illegal killing of crocodiles leads to shortages.

According to her, they [crocodiles] are traveling quite a distance throughout the night across the land, “but the reason for their movement remains a mystery to us,” she added. 

Although their 10-year license had expired in the early 2000s, the collection of eggs [crocodile farming] is being carried out in Murchison Falls National Park.

“The suspect [Napoleon] is in the custody waiting to be taken to court for possession and illegal wildlife trades.”  

Police spokesperson of the North Kyoga region, ASP Jimmy Patrick Okema confirmed the incident, saying the police only helped in the arrest of the suspect. “The matter was handed over to UWA,” he told TND News when asked.

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