Police say the four Eritreans were being ferried to Kabalagala, a neighbourhood in the capital Kampala. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Uganda police have arrested two Kenyans for allegedly trafficking four Eritreans into the East African country.
Flying Squad Unit Commandant Herbert Muhangi said one suspect, a driver identified as Edwin Ainok Amuse, was intercepted in Iganga District following a tip-off from the public.
Mr Amuse, police said, was ferrying two men and two women of Eritrean origin to Kabalagala, a neighbourhood in the capital Kampala.
He was arrested at a road block near Iganga town on Thursday as they travelled in a Toyota Premio, according to Mr Muhangi.
“We interrogated the driver and he told us he was to transport them to Kabalagala on his boss’ orders,” Mr Muhangi said.
"He identified his boss as [Mr] David Bahati and we asked him to call his boss. When the said boss came, we arrested him."
On interrogation, the Eritreans told police that they had been brought to Uganda to reunite with their relatives living in Kampala.
They further revealed that they had fled their country because of unfavourable political, economic and social conditions, the Daily Monitor reports.
“These people did not have travel documents but their destination was Kabalagala. We have established that their relatives were aware of the move and they were waiting for them. They had collaborated with these Kenyans to sneak them into Uganda,” Mr Muhangi said.
Mr Ainok and Mr Bahati, the suspects, were locked up at Nalufenya, a high profile detention facility in Jinja District.
“The two have told us that trafficking persons has been their job for some time now and this is the first time they are being arrested,” the police chief said.
“We are questioning them to help us understand which other people they sneaked in or out of Uganda.”
Police said their case file was sent to Directorate of Public Prosecutions and he had advised that suspects be treated "as criminals".
The victims, the prosecutor said, should be registered as asylum seekers and be handed over to refugee desk at the office of the prime minister.