At an Indian airport two Ugandan nationals have been arrested and 9.8kg of heroin worth Shs2 billions seized.
The two Ugandans were arrested at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport on Sunday, tribuneindia.com reports.
According to India’s customs authority, the weight of the recovered narcotic drugs is the biggest they have ever seized at any airport in India.
The two Ugandans, who are in their 30s, are suspected of trafficking the drugs through Entebbe International Airport.
“While searching the checked-in bags of the two passengers, a total of 51 pouches containing 9.8kgs of white powdery substance, suspected to be narcotics was recovered,” Tribune India media outlet quotes a statement by the India custom authorities.
The suspects told India authorities that they were given the bags by their sister in Uganda to deliver it to someone in India and that they didn’t know that narcotic drugs had been concealed inside.
A person found trafficking narcotic drugs from outside India into the country faces not less than 10 years imprisonment and heavy fines that are determined depending on the quantity of the seized contraband.
Our efforts to get a comment from the spokesman of Uganda Police Force Fred Enanga on whether their counterparts in India have informed them through the International Police Organisation (Interpol) about this case, were futile.
The number of Ugandans arrested in India over trafficking of narcotic drugs has increased.
Two female Ugandans were arrested on New Year while one male Uganda was arrested with 500gms of heroin in December 2020.
Recently, the Director of Criminal Investigations, Ms Grace Akullo, said trafficking of narcotic drugs by Ugandans is affecting the country’s reputation in the world.
Ms Akullo said countries with high cases of passengers found with illicit drugs are subjected to extra searches at the airports.
She said Uganda law enforcement authorities are taking crime related incidents involving Ugandans seriously. In 2019, Uganda registered 2,000 Ugandans who had been trafficked to India. Only 16 of the victims were rescued, according to Ms Akullo. Most Ugandans trafficked to India are used in sex and illicit drug trade.
Heroin is produced in Asian countries and trafficked to Uganda, which is considered as a transit country for narcotic drugs to Europe and the United States of America.
Police often intercept drugs being trafficked out of the country but not those that are brought in. It is still unclear how such drugs are brought into the country.
According to Uganda Police Force records, they handle, on average, 2,700 cases of narcotics annually.
In 2019, police destroyed seized illicit drugs worth Shs5.5bn.