Uganda suspends wildlife chief after huge ivory theftUganda’s top wildlife official was suspended Thursday after seized ivory worth over a million dollars vanished from government strongrooms, state-run media said, although he insisted he kept his post.
The suspension of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) executive director Andrew Seguya follows that of five top officials earlier this week, the go…vernment-owned New Vision newspaper said.
Police investigations backed by Interpol are ongoing into the more than a ton of missing tusks.
Tourism Minister Maria Mutagamba recommended the UWA boss be suspended until the probe is complete, the New Vision said.
But Seguya, who has led the agency since 2010, denied he had been suspended.
“I am still in office, I don’t know what they are saying,” he told AFP.
Those previously suspended include UWA’s chief ranger, those who had access to the vault, as well as intelligence officers in the agency.
The UWA said a routine check had found that 1,335 kilogrammes (2,943 pounds) of ivory had vanished from supposedly secure stockpiles, which officials estimated to be valued at some 1.1 million dollars (880,000 euros).
Staff are feared to have been working with the very traffickers they are meant to stop to steal and sell on the confiscated tusks.