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UGANDA: Police are holding 2 Europeans on drug trafficking at Entebbe airport

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Police at Entebbe International Airport are holding two Europeans over allegations of drug trafficking.

Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, said Laudato Nassimo, 37, an Italian and Antonio Manuel, 64, a Portuguese were arrested as they tried to use Entebbe Airport as transit route on March 4 and 9, respectively.

Mr Kayima said Nassimo’s documents confiscated at the airport indicate he was in transit to Belgium aboard Brussels Airline whereas Manuel was aboard an Egyptian Airline and his destination was Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

“The police at Entebbe Airport have continued crackdown on drug traffickers that use our dear country either as a conduit or destination for illicit drugs. We applaud our security team at Entebbe for a job well done using their power and expertise to apprehend these suspected traffickers,” Mr Kayima said.

Police said Mr Nassimo had 3kg of heroine worth Shs210 million which he had hidden under his bag whereas the amount of drugs the Portuguese was smuggling was yet to be known. Commissioner in charge of narcotics recently told Daily Monitor, that a kilogramme of heroine costs $20000 and above depending on the buyer and quality.

“[Mr] Nassimo had hidden the drugs under the bag in what is termed as false bottoms. This is a strategy by criminals who perfectly conceal suspected illicit items as drug traffickers do to enable them go through scanners undetected,” Mr Kayima said.

Mr Nassimo and Mr Manuel’s arrest comes a week after police busted a drugs racket and arrested a key suspect, who had allegedly been using unsuspecting victims as couriers to convey narcotics from one country to another. Mr Idrissa Traore, 52, owner of Bamako Arcade in Namasuba on Entebbe Road, was arrested following a tip-off from the Director of Criminal Investigations in Burundi after a Mali national was arrested there with seven kilogrammes of narcotic drugs on February 7, 2018.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigire, said the Burundi suspect Musa Fofana told detectives in Bujumbura that he had received the drugs from Traore at Bamako Arcade in Namasuba, a Kampala suburb and drugs were worth about Shs1.5 billion.

Mr Kayima on Monday explained that Manuel had used anti-dog that wards of the canine denying it the opportunity to sniff in order to detect the illicit drugs. He also said some female drug traffickers were concealing illegal drugs in their private parts proving difficult for being detected by officers. He said police was in plans of purchasing a body scanner to avoid such cases.

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