A total of 150 African grey parrots have been intercepted at the Uganda-Congo border post in Kasese district. Trade in African grey parrots is a lucrative business as it fetches $200-$700 on the international market.
The Queen Elizabeth Conservation area manager, James Tumwesigye, said the birds were intercepted by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) operatives yesterday.
He said the birds were hidden in cartons of motorcycle spare parts with French labels.
Tumwesigye said the operatives discovered the birds while they were checking the containers and the accompanying documents.
“The URA officials became suspicious after failing to find documents clearing the parrots from UWA, though there were documents in French that showed 276 African grey parrots had been cleared by Congo customs to enter Uganda,” he said.
Tumwesigye added that on being quizzed further, the culprits purportedly left to pick the UWA documents clearing the birds.
“They sped off in a vehicle towards Kasese, leaving the vehicle that was impounded with three boxes,” Mwesigye stated. He said the culprits could have taken off with boxes containing more of the birds.
“We cannot rule out the fact that this business may have been going on from DRC through Uganda and possibly to Kenya,” he said.
He said URA had released the parrots to UWA.