The Aviation Police (AVPOL) in collaboration with other security forces have impounded drugs worth Shs 2.9 billion since the beginning of the year.
The most confiscated drugs are cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. In the last 10 months, AVPOL working with the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), Crime Intelligence (CI), Internal Security Organization (ISO), and Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), has seized 56.6kg of narcotic drugs either being sneaked in or out of the country via Entebbe Airport.
However, the prices of narcotic drugs also depend on the scarcity. If there are stringent operations against narcotic drugs in the US and Europe, the smugglers become few and the prices skyrocket. Italy police last month arrested 58 suspected drug traffickers in an operation that stretched into Spain.
The group had drugs valued at €44.2 million. The Italy operation came on the heels of an operation conducted by EUROPOL leading to the arrest of 16 suspected drug smugglers. Baguma said most of the intercepted drug traffickers are Ugandans followed by Nigerians, Indians, Cameroonians, Senegalese, and Tanzanians.
In 2020 and 2021, drug traffickers arrested at the airport had spent days in many of the luxurious hotels in Kampala and they claimed that they were taking consignments of bigwigs in government and security agencies although they did not mention them. One of the challenges AVPOL and CID have been facing is securing a conviction of foreigners who are in most cases rescued by powerful government individuals and swiftly deported.
Baguma said drug traffickers are very skilled and this beats their capability to curtail their activities.
Another reason Baguma cited in a report as to why drug smugglers beat their intelligence is the lack of body scanners to help them expedite the identification of suspects who swallow the drug pellets.
Unlike the US which has over the year extradited drug traffickers from various parts of the world, most African countries including Uganda usually fail to follow up with the suspects once they have slipped through the airports.