Wakiso, Uganda – In a significant breakthrough, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Enforcement officers apprehended four suspected smugglers in Ssenge Village, Wakiso District, on Friday. The arrest was made following a tip-off by a reliable informer.
Ibrahim Bbosa, the URA Assistant Commissioner for Public and Cooperate Affairs, revealed that the suspects were found in possession of 59 boxes of smuggled flavored Oris cigarettes and 5 boxes of Platinum Seven. The confiscated contraband is estimated to be valued at Shs.140 million.
The URA enforcement team acted on credible intelligence provided by informants, leading them to a specific location where the smuggled cigarettes were stored. Bbosa highlighted that the suspects attempted to bribe the enforcement officers with Shs.10 million. However, the officers refused the bribe, promptly arresting the suspects.
Bbosa elaborated, “Since they were caught red-handed, they didn’t resist arrest, but they opted to bribe our officers with 10 million shillings to allow them to carry on with their loading activity.” The enforcement officer, in a strategic move, accepted the bribe under instructions from superiors, while a reinforcement team prepared to intervene.
The four suspects are currently in custody at Jinja Police Station. Although apprehended, it was reported that additional accomplices managed to escape with some contraband during a covert operation on Thursday night.
URA officials have commended the role of informants and the diligence of their enforcement team in combating illicit activities. Investigations are ongoing to trace and apprehend the remaining suspects involved in the smuggling operation.
The successful operation reflects the commitment of Ugandan authorities to curbing illegal activities and maintaining the integrity of revenue collection processes. The suspects are expected to face charges related to smuggling and bribery as the legal process unfolds.