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Interpol arrests 27 suspects in crackdown on crime across East Africa

Director of Interpol Uganda, Fred Yiga confirmed the joint operation, revealing that arrests were made (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Uganda Police Force has netted 27 suspects in an operation code-named usalama that is done in conjunction with countries in the region.

The operation that was carried out between 27th September to 2nd October 2018 saw countries that fall under the umbrella of the Eastern African Police Chiefs Organization [EAPCCO] And Southern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization [SARPCCO] conducting it at the same time.

“This operation targeted transnational border crimes which include, theft of motto-vehicles, human trafficking, wildlife and environmental crimes, stolen documents, vandalism, narcotic drugs,, illicit trade of small and light weapons and terrorism” Director INTERPOL and International Relations, Dr.Fred Yiga said these in a press conference on Friday at INTERPOL offices in Kampala.

He added that the exercise was conducted together with relevant security agencies and statutory public agencies like National Forestry Authority, Wildlife, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda National Drug Authority, Directorate of Public Prosecution and Immigration.

Yiga noted that 16 were arrested for being in possession of protected tree species, and were sentenced to two years in prison, five for being in possession of wildlife products like leopard skin, game meat, ivory weighing 36.4kgs, while others for vandalism, theft of motto vehicles and dealing in narcotic drugs.

Dr. Yiga highlighted the need for Kenya and Uganda to always conduct periodic regional training on the effects of drug traffic in order to catch up with ever-changing trends of criminals in human and drug trafficking.

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