Anti-Narcotics Police together with Entebbe Airport Aviation Police on Friday intercepted and arrested a one Carol Birungi, 29, with 90 pellets of heroin worth Shs596m. Birungi had concealed the drugs inside her private parts.
According to Charles Twiine, the criminal investigations directorate (CID) spokesperson, Birungi was found with 90 pellets of heroin drugs, which were reportedly concealed in her private parts over the weekend. The drugs were allegedly destined for New Delhi, India.
“It was very hard to notice her but the arrest followed an intelligence report received from one of their sources. The source pinned Birungi and others still at large that last month they had smuggled heroin from Ethiopia to Uganda using one of the porous routes from the Eastern part of Uganda,” Twine said
Twine explained that currently, it’s hard to detect someone hiding drugs unless scanned but such scanners were abolished at the Entebbe Airport.
“Initially at the Entebbe Airport we would scan a person moving out of the country but Human Rights activists de-campaigned it alluding that security officers were seeing the nakedness of people who were not suspects. Later it was unanimously agreed that scanning of travellers must stop,” he said.
“Therefore those currently we arrest we either use the intelligence or we assess the demeanour (one’s behaviour). So this lady was arrested using the intelligence that trailed her from Ethiopia and because their names are already blacklisted they can not fly to Europe so they use transit countries Uganda being one of them and Ethiopia, from Ethiopia they were driven on roads into Uganda.”
Twine noted that Birungi was intercepted at Entebbe Airport with the pellets on her way to New Delhi in India. He however revealed that the practice of drug trafficking in Uganda is now one of the booming illegal businesses because of weak laws against it.
“Drug trafficking has remained a global problem and Uganda is often used by the traffickers and their agents in the transit country considering the fact that our laws as compared to other jurisdictions against trafficking are that very weak,” he said.
Twine cautioned that many Ugandans especially young ladies have often provided willingness to participate in the delivery of the drugs either knowingly or unknowingly in total disregard of the consequences especially in case they are arrested.
“Our ladies have been duped into this illicit trade, and we have had many cases where our sisters have been fooled and used by traffickers from Nigeria. Although various efforts have been put by the government of Uganda and the Police to combat the illicit trafficking of drugs, traffickers have always managed to smuggle drugs into Uganda using several methods thus giving Uganda a very bad image,” he added.
Police are cautioning Ugandans to desist from participating in drug trafficking.
“We have partnered with the world to ensure that together we bring our synergies and fight this vice, so it cannot be the same government to go and plead for you once you’re caught in the same illicit trade. We have 10 girls incarcerated in Sri Lanka and India, 4 of these are serving life sentences, and no one can dare to plead for their release,” Twine stated.
Drug trafficking remains one of the global problems, and Uganda is often used by the traffickers and their agents as a transit country, considering the fact that Ugandan laws compared to other jurisdictions against drug trafficking are not that stringent.
Police records show that 7,328 people were arrested in the last two years for illegally buying, selling, and smuggling intoxicating drugs.
Meanwhile, Birungi will be tried before the Chief Magistrate of court with an offence of unlawful possession of narcotic drugs centrally to section 4 sub-section1 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (control) Act, 2019.
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