WILDLIFE OFFENCES IN UGANDA “Points to Prove”
A Guide for Prosecutors and Investigators including Sample Charges and Standard Operating Procedures
From the Introduction:
Wildlife crime is an issue of growing and substantial national and international concern. A growing awareness of the links between wildlife crime and organised criminal syndicates has contributed significantly to this concern, particularly given the diversified links within the organised criminal network to human migrant exploitation, money laundering, drugs and arms trafficking and, in some jurisdictions, suggested links to terrorism. Wildlife crime is now thought to be the fourth most lucrative transnational crime after trafficking in people, arms and drugs (Haken 2011).
In Uganda, evidence suggests that poaching for bush meat, firewood collection and timber harvesting are the most widespread wildlife crimes in Uganda with a growing number of illegal wildlife trade and trafficking cases being reported on flora and fauna including elephant tusks, pangolins, tortoises and sandalwood. Uganda is also increasingly being seen as a significant transit country for wildlife products and specimens.
The successful prosecution of those who are apprehended is essential to ensuring that the criminal justice system within Uganda can act as a sufficiently strong enough deterrent to those contemplating commission of such a crime. Accordingly, this guide has been created to assist investigators and prosecutors to identify what is required to build an evidential case against an accused; it sets out the ancillary powers available and presents alternative legislation as options for prosecution, such as the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2013. In addition, the inter-agency best practice guidelines contained within is geared towards fostering better coordination and collaboration between all agencies involved in the fight against wildlife crime. This guide will be subject to review and amendment as and when circumstances dictate.
This guide was developed by the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities; the Directorate of Public Prosecutions; selected judicial officers, representatives from Interpol and the Uganda Wildlife Authority. It was done in association with Space for Giants, the conservation charity that works to safeguard the continent’s mega-fauna and the landscapes they depend on, as part of Uganda’s membership of the pan-African wildlife initiative, the Giants Club, together with the United Nations Environmental Programme and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that provided support for the development, dissemination and national roll out of this complete process.
Click here to read the full Guide. Copyright Space for Giants, the Uganda Wildlife Authority, and partners. This Guide may not be reproduced in part or in full, electronically or otherwise, without the express permission of Space for Giants.