15 victims of human trafficking destined for Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Oman were intercepted security personnel attached to the Aviation Police at Entebbe International Airport last week.
This was revealed to the media by Fred Enanga, the Police Spokesperson during the weekly police briefing at Naguru on Monday.
Enanga told reporters that the victims who include 14 young girls and one male adult were being trafficked on a visitation visa.
However, security personnel were deployed at Entebbe Airport and other cross-border points in a bid to reduce cases of human trafficking that have been on the rise. They are also tasked with ensuring no drugs are sneaked into or out of the country.
According to Enanga, the victims were intercepted at 9 pm and by Monday, they were still in the hands of Aviation Police as it searches for groups that were behind the scheme. They had been booked on Fly Dubai and Uganda Airlines flights.
“They had not been cleared by the Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development,” Enanga noted.
The security agents became suspicious after learning all the victims were leaving on visitors Visas. Upon interrogation, the groups gave contradicting accounts on which people they were going to see and for how long since they had no return tickets.
They include Namubiru Sandra, Nabirye Fazirah, Nakitto Maria, Namubiru Monique Saku, Babirye Molly Muwawu, Nakazzi Aisha, Nakijjoba Christine, Kazibwe Edward, Nakirya Hadija, Nandi Mercy, Naiga Oliver, Atuhaire Pamela, Nabkooza Stella, and Afoyocan Immaculate.
Meanwhile, Agnes Igoye the Deputy Coordinator Anti-Human Trafficking Department in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said some unscrupulous labor export companies withhold passports for the women and men desperate for jobs.
The women and men who are mostly in their early 20s often sneaked out of the country without clear destinations and job descriptions.
Igoye cites Sip Contours as one of the companies that withhold the passports of the girls. She warns that withholding someone’s passport is criminal because that document belongs to the government and is supposed to be in hands of authorized persons.
The Immigration Directorate says on average 30 Ugandans return every day after their contracts have ended in Dubai, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.