Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement intelligence and police authorities are investigating a case of human trafficking after human beings were discovered in cardboard biscuit boxes, in trucks.

The suspects, believed to be from other African countries, were being trafficked into Uganda through Busia border post with Kenya.

The two have been arrested and driven to Kampala for interrogation. URA is working with police and other security agencies to understand the motive of the suspects.

When contacted, Mr Dicksons Collins Kateshumbwa, the Commissioner Customs at URA, confirmed the incident and explained that the arrests took place in the wee hours of Friday.

“We intercepted them [people in biscuit boxes] at 4am this morning at Busia border post using our Non-Intrusive inspection Technology (drive through scanners),” Mr Kateshumbwa said.

“The two people have been arrested by Customs Enforcement intelligence and are being held in Kampala for interrogation and we shall work with other agencies to understand the motives.”

Daily Monitor understands that the two trucks with Kenyan number plates have been held and the drivers have also been arrested, pending investigations into the incident.

According to Kateshumbwa, “This interception further underscores the importance of deploying more scanners at borders.”

He added: “We are deploying 7 more scanners by September and will be adding more in the course of the year.”

Information from URA shows that the scanners installed at the border points have led to recovery of over Shs28 billion in taxes, from concealed goods.

Other sources at URA told Daily Monitor that all the suspects were carefully removed from the boxes and screened for Ebola before they were driven to Kampala amid tight security.

Uganda remains a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation.

Ugandan children are trafficked within the country, as well as to Canada, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia for forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation.

The Trafficking in Persons Act which became law in 2009 criminalises human trafficking.

URA is expected to address a news conference later today to provide the details.

REUTERS

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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