By Our Reporter
KAMPALA: Four directors of two foreign labour recruiting firms are in custody at Kawempe and Old Kampala police divisions for alleged human trafficking.
Agnes Igoye, the deputy coordinator for the Prevention of Human Trafficking at the Ministry of Internal Affair has identified one of the suspects as John Kamome, the Director of Al-Saudi recruiting agency in Nansana.
A team of police officers and operatives from the Internal Security Organization-ISO picked him up on Monday following numerous complaints by his victims. Igoye explains that by the time of his arrest, Kamome’s company had reportedly trafficked an unknown number of Ugandans in collaboration with other unauthorized companies with agents abroad.
A police officer at Old Kampala police station who participated in the operation says that most of the victims told them that they paid Shillings 4.5 million while others accused the company of confiscating their passports.
According to Igoye, Kamome’s company was suspended in 2019 for faking bank grantees and has been operating illegally.
Kawempe police division is also holding three directors of Preferred Consultancy Limited, whose particulars have not been released on similar charges. Their arrest followed the interception of six human trafficking victims at Entebbe International Airport over the weekend.
Some of the victims are Janet Nakamanyi, Aisha Nabisalu, Rachel Najuko and Peninah Natukunda.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says that preliminary findings show that the license of this company expired and has never been renewed.“They have been continuously operating illegally by sneaking girls out of the country to Saudi-Arabia and Oman via Cairo in Egypt with the help of a Saudi national only identified as Muhammad,” Enanga said.
Adding that, “Unscrupulous labour exporting companies are continuing to take advantage of young girls who are in a vulnerable economic state. They are ignorantly accepting to go abroad, without knowing what they are going to face, including sexual exploitation, torture, removal of their organs and sometimes murders.”
Enanga asked Ugandans planning to leave for green pastures abroad to do due diligence on the legitimacy and legality of labour exporting companies to avoid falling into the trap of human traffickers. It’s estimated that close to 25 million people across the globe are trafficked every year.