News Stories (Focused Conservation)

Uganda Wildlife Crime Unit’s Operation Adelong: Arrests Made in Seizure of White Rhino Horn

In a major breakthrough for wildlife conservation, the Uganda Wildlife Crime Unit (UWCU) spearheaded a significant multi-agency law enforcement operation that successfully culminated in the seizure of a white rhino horn weighing approximately 1.25 kilograms in Kampala. The operation not only resulted in the confiscation of the illicit horn but also led to the apprehension of three traffickers who had conspired to sell the rhino horn to the UWCU team. Among those arrested were two South Sudanese males and one Ugandan female. Investigations indicated that the rhino horn had been smuggled into Uganda from South Sudan, highlighting the cross-border nature of the illegal wildlife trade.

This operation, aptly named Operation Adelong, underscores the tireless efforts of the UWCU and its multi-agency partners in combating wildlife crimes. The arrest of individuals involved in the trafficking of a white rhino horn sends a clear message that illegal activities threatening endangered species will not be tolerated. The collaborative approach showcased in this operation reflects the commitment of law enforcement agencies to protect Uganda’s rich biodiversity and preserve the iconic white rhino population.

Operation Red Tide: Multi-Agency Team Successfully Rescues Live Manatee from Wildlife Traffickers

In a groundbreaking operation named Operation Red Tide, a collaborative effort by a multi-agency law enforcement team, including officers from the Nigeria Special Wildlife Office, Nigeria Customs, Special Investigations Squad, Customs Police, and the Western Marine Command, led to the successful seizure of a live juvenile African manatee. The operation, fueled by intelligence from Focused Conservation Technical Advisors, targeted a wildlife trafficking group operating with impunity in Ikorodu, Nigeria, and across multiple African and Middle Eastern countries. The intricacies of the mission, involving the rescue of the endangered marine mammal, required meticulous planning to safely remove it from a private premises where it was being offered for sale in a concrete tank.

Named after the challenges it overcame, Operation Red Tide not only resulted in the arrest of the seller but also marked a historic milestone in wildlife law enforcement. The juvenile manatee, a species vulnerable to the illegal wildlife trade, faced a complex journey to safety. A local specialized veterinarian, with previous experience in collaboration with Focused Conservation, ensured the animal’s well-being during the operation. The manatee was carefully transported by vehicle to a nearby dock, where the NCS Boat Crew from the Western Marine Command skillfully ferried it across the lagoon to another dock. From there, the animal was lifted into another vehicle and transported to a park, where it will receive the care it needs. This unprecedented live manatee seizure underscores the dedication of law enforcement in tackling wildlife trafficking and protecting endangered species.

Operation Freshwater: UWCU Strikes Against Ivory Traffickers Reveals Corruption in Uganda’s Wildlife Trade

In a determined effort to combat illegal wildlife trafficking, the Uganda Wildlife Crime Unit (UWCU) orchestrated Operation Freshwater, a multi-agency law enforcement initiative that led to the apprehension of three suspects attempting to sell elephant ivory. The operation reached its climax in Kanungu, where the UWCU team, after engaging in negotiations with the traffickers, successfully intercepted the illegal sale of elephant ivory, transported to the scene by motorcycle. However, the significance of this operation extends beyond the arrests, as one of the detainees includes a government official, shedding light on the troubling involvement of individuals in positions of authority in the illicit wildlife trade.

The aftermath of the arrests took an unexpected turn as the UWCU team faced threats, necessitating their secure relocation to a protected location. This unsettling development underscores the challenges faced by those on the front lines of wildlife conservation, emphasizing the need for continued efforts to address corruption within the illegal wildlife trade in Uganda.

Operation Penguin results in more Sandalwood seizures in Kenya

In a continuing effort to combat illegal wildlife activities, the Kenya Wildlife Task Force (KWTF) has once again demonstrated its effectiveness in a successful law enforcement operation targeting the illegal trade in sandalwood. A vigilant team of officers, part of a dynamic multi-agency collaboration, intercepted a vehicle transporting approximately 500 kilograms of illicit sandalwood near Lodungokwe. The seized contraband led to the immediate arrest of two individuals involved in this unlawful activity. This decisive action not only curtails the illegal trade but also sends a strong message that the KWTF is unwavering in its commitment to preserving Kenya’s natural heritage.

The KWTF’s track record speaks volumes about its dedication to wildlife conservation and law enforcement. Since its inception, the task force has achieved significant milestones in Kenya, including the seizure of over 49 tonnes of sandalwood and 257 kilograms of elephant ivory through various law enforcement operations. These accomplishments underscore the KWTF’s pivotal role in safeguarding the nation’s biodiversity and serve as a testament to the ongoing battle against illicit wildlife trade in the region.

Operation Hatfield Triumph: UWCU’s Swift Action Leads to Arrest of Elephant Ivory Traffickers

In a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Uganda Wildlife Crime Unit (UWCU), Operation Hatfield has once again demonstrated its effectiveness by successfully apprehending two individuals attempting to sell 15.5 kilograms of elephant ivory. The UWCU team engaged with the traffickers near Kawempe, skillfully negotiating a resolution that culminated in the arrest of the suspects. While the quantity seized may be modest, the significance lies in the capture of one individual, a broker who had managed to evade arrest in previous investigations.

This operation stands as a testament to the dedication and proficiency of the UWCU team, showcasing their ability to swiftly respond to wildlife crimes. By intercepting and disrupting the illegal trade in elephant ivory, Operation Hatfield not only safeguards the majestic species but also upholds the integrity of previous investigations.

Successful Rescue Operation: SWIU Safely Retrieves Endangered Lesser Spot-Nosed Monkey in Liberia

In a recent triumph for wildlife conservation, Liberia’s Special Wildlife Investigative Unit (SWIU) accomplished the successful rescue of a juvenile Lesser Spot-Nosed Monkey in a law enforcement operation near Monrovia. The dedicated SWIU officers took swift action, liberating the young primate that was found tethered with a short chain around its waist. Acting on a valid warrant, the monkey was seized, and the owner was apprehended for the illegal possession of this endangered species.

The Lesser Spot-Nosed Guenon holds a special place in Liberia’s biodiversity, being endemic to the region. Unfortunately, these remarkable creatures face a grave threat from uncontrolled hunting for bushmeat, pushing them to the brink. Recognizing the severity of the situation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Lesser Spot-Nosed Guenon as Near Threatened, underscoring the urgency of protective measures.

Uganda continues to arrest ivory traffickers

The Uganda Wildlife Crime Unit (UWCU) led an operation in Lungujja called Operation Goole where a group of 5 suspects were offering elephant ivory for sale. After a brief coverrt meeting, the arrest team mobilized however 2 males fought the officers and escaped. Three suspects were arrested and 17 kgs of ivory was seized from the traffickers.

Op Dawlish rescues live Pangolin from Traffickers

A significant multi-agency operation led by the Uganda Wildlife Crime Unit (UWCU) dubbed Operation Dawlish resulted in the seizure of a live White-bellied pangolin, along with 10 kgs. of pangolin scales from the residence of a prominent subject living in Kampala. Two subjects were arrested for attempting to sell the pangolin to the covert officers.

Three Bush Babies Rescued in Nigeria

The Nigeria Special Wildlife Office (NSWO), along with Customs Intelligence Unit and Customs Police, participated in an operation at a market in Kaduna, Nigeria. The officers observed a subject attempting to sell 3 live bush babies, an endangered species in NIgeria. The subject avoided arrest and escaped the market, however the 3 bush babies were rescued and are currently being cared for before being released back into the wild. The bush baby are protected under the Endangered Species Act in Nigeria as Schedule II species.

Scroll to Top