KAMPALA – Buganda Road Magistrates Court on Friday, March 27 charged 37 Chinese nationals, with various offences, including illegally trading in Uganda.
The group appeared before Grade One Magistrate Marion Mangeni who charged them with unlawfully procuring of 1895 Airtel sim-cards, carrying on businesses in Uganda without trading licenses, being in unlawful possession of wildlife protected species, and having suspected stolen property.
According to prosecution, the group committed the offences between December 2019 and March this year in various parts of Uganda.
The session was conducted in the compound of the court to observe social distancing in line with government guidelines to contain coronavirus.
Thirty-three of the suspects pleaded guilty to the charges.
The whole group was remanded to the newly constructed Kitalya government prison on Mityana Road until March 31 for sentencing for those who pleaded guilty and April 9 for plea taking for those who denied the charges.
Prosecution states that three of the suspects were on March 19, 2020, found disassembling several mobile phones and computers for trading purposes, albeit without a trading license. The offences were reportedly committed in Kireka, Kira Municipality in Wakiso district.
A day later, during a search at their premises in Kireka, the same group was found with suspected stolen property, which included computer motherboards, phones and electricity meters.
They were also in possession of 1,895 Airtel and 223 MTN Timecards which they were using in sham financial transactions and protected wildlife species including six tortoises and pangolin scales.