Nairobi, Kenya | URN | Ugandan Police has said they are in talks with Kenyan authorities for the release of nine arrested Ugandans who were being trafficked through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) spokesperson Charles Twine said that nine Ugandans were arrested at the airport for holding passports with forged Kenyan stamps over the weekend.
Now police investigations show that the suspects who were arrested were trafficked and given documents with forged Kenyan stamps by a one Charles Kamuli, who has a warehouse in Kireka where he recruits and holds his victims for trafficking.
Police says that after recruiting mostly girls, Kamuli and his accomplices transport the victims to Kenya where paperwork is prepared before proceeding to their intended destinations in Dubai and Oman.
“These people were trafficked to Kenya and given passports with forged stamps of Kenya, they were arrested on the airport,” Twine explained. “Unfortunately, the person who forged these things could not be traced immediately, and it was presumed that the victims were behind this forgery and are now there in prison.”
He says police have teamed up with Immigration to hold talks with the Kenyan High Commmission and other relevant authorities to make sure that the victims are returned to Uganda and treated as victims of human trafficking.
He called on Ugandans planning to leave for green pastures abroad to do due diligence on the legitimacy and legality of labor exporting companies to avoid falling into the traps of human traffickers.
“There are many fake companies that were even closed and whose licenses were cancelled, but they are still operating illegally, and everyone should know that,” Twine noted.
Meanwhile, Agnes Igoye, the deputy coordinator for the prevention of trafficking in persons at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said Uganda is also being used as a transit route of other traffickers to transport victims of human trafficking to different destinations.
Recent victims include eight Burundian women aged 25-30years who were trafficked from Burundi through Kenya and then proceeded to Uganda where they have been held by a Yemeni national in Kabalagala for close to three months.
Igoye described the complex web of trafficking they are trying to unravel which includes one Alice, a Burundian National who recruited the victims from home, took them to Kenya where they stayed for three weeks, and then another person only identified as Abas who loaded them on a lorry to Busia.
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She added: “Another person called Shadrack took them from Busia to Malibu Hotel in Kabalagala where they were handed over to another person who is a Yemen National called Ramsey Muhammad and then he confiscated their passports.”
“The victims who have been in this hotel were rescued by locals after getting suspicious and alerted police,” Igoye added. “Ramsey is under arrest and all the victims have been rescued and kept in safer places.”
She says they are looking for 17 more suspected members of this chain trafficking through Uganda.
It’s estimated that close to 25 million people across the globe are trafficked every year.