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How Entebbe International Airport is being used as drug trafficking point

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Simon Kabayo
Simon Kabayohttps://eagle.co.ug
Reporter whose work is detailed

The drug traffickers across the globe are using Entebbe Airport as a transit point to move drugs from different parts of the world to Japan, China and India. 

According to Entebbe Airport security sources, the drugs come from Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Afghanistan and enter Africa through various entry points and end up in Uganda before they are transported to Asia.

“The biggest market is in Japan and India and other eastern Asian countries. These drugs enter Uganda as cargo or unescorted luggage,” a security source told Eagle Online in an exclusive interview in May. 

According to security sources at Entebbe, the drug traffickers are using Mozambique, Ghana and Somalia to move the drugs into Africa and later move to Entebbe Airport and possibly to other airports in Africa.

These countries have coastal waters which the drug dealers probably use easily to connect from South America and be able to enter Africa. With exception of Ghana, Mozambique and Somalia are also experiencing instabilities which have disabled the states in these two countries to manage and control security along the coastal lines.

” The perpetrators can send the cargo a day before and for them they arrive the following day with collaboration with their contacts in Uganda that help to keep the ‘unclaimed’ cargo” the security operative said.

A security operative who has been involved in the operation to arrest some traffickers says the perpetrators bribe the airport security to enter Uganda.  “They even use Clearing agents to move these drugs. It’s a well syndicated racket that involves different players in national security,” he said.

The security agencies operating at the airport include; police, Immigration, Internal Security Organisation, Military intelligence, External Security operatives and Aviation security.

For example, in February a joint team of Internal Security Organisation and Police arrested two Indian men Balvir Singh and Nadeem Ullah after trafficking 62 kilograms of Cocaine to India as cargo but the Indian police managed to impound the drugs in New Delhi.

The drugs were impounded by the Indian police in an operation code named Black and White before the New Delhi police communicated with their Ugandan counterparts to arrest Balvir and Ullah who have been disguising as businessmen dealing in exporting fruits.

A police CID officer based at the Airport confirmed the arrest of the two Indians who are now battling a court case at Entebbe Magistrates Court.  ” It’s true, they are facing charges,” she said. 

Police are also investigating reports that an international courier company which we cannot name for using its stores in Namanve to store these drugs before they are moved to Asia.

When drugs enter Uganda, the perpetrators pay some Ugandans to take the risk of transporting these drugs to the chosen destinations. ” Each transporter is paid 10,000 to 15,000 dollars and that’s why there are many Ugandans in prisons in China and India.

By the end of last year, there were 40 Ugandans in Indian prisons and 30 are in China with some on death row for trafficking drugs. 

Some of these drug traffickers have either married female Uganda police officers or their relatives in order to get protection or information. 

In March the Airport police burst a drug trafficking racket involving one of their own and immigration officials. The police seized a consignment of 9.8 kilograms of cocaine on March 1, 2023, whose destination is yet to be established.

The consignment had been cleared by security and immigration staff, disguised as coffee packets, according to Airport security sources. As a result, Denis Mugabi Mwamba, an immigration officer, Dan Banan, an Internal Security Officer, Caroline Orishaba, an immigration assistant, and police constable No 46879 PC Florence Awino were arrested in connection with the incident.

The drugs were being trafficked by Nigerian national Raphael Pius Madu who was traveling on Passport No B0041124. 

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