Wednesday,September 23,2020 02:52 AM

Police explains sh13b cocaine deal

By Simon Masaba

Added 4th January 2016 09:34 AM

Gen. Kayihura "put up a task team to conduct an audit into the control and accountability of drug exhibits at the Aviation Police Headquarters".

Police explains sh13b cocaine deal

Police chief Gen. Kale Kayihura

Gen. Kayihura "put up a task team to conduct an audit into the control and accountability of drug exhibits at the Aviation Police Headquarters".

Police has said investigations in the sh13b cocaine deal are in advanced stages, and promised the report shall be made public when the probe is finished.

In a press statement at the aftermath of a story published in Saturday Vision about a racket involving Aviation Police, Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence officers, who sources say stole confiscated exhibits in the seized cocaine scandal, police spokesperson Fred Enanga said that the investigations are undergoing ever since the issue came up at the responsible desks.

The story revealed that the cocaine was allegedly stolen from Aviation police stores in Entebbe.

Enanga said that the drugs were seized from dealers between 2012-2014 and have been a subject of investigation since February 2015.

"The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen. Kale Kayihura is at the forefront in the fight against drug trafficking in Uganda. He put up a task team to conduct an audit into the control and accountability of drug exhibits at the Aviation Police Headquarters, in Entebbe," Enanga said in a press statement sent out on Sunday.

Enanga said the case was first managed by the Special investigations Division (SID) before Kayihura set up a team of detectives from the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) and the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) to investigate. They are yet to come up with a full report.

"The investigation would determine whether any drugs went missing or not, and if so, whether there is sufficient evidence to charge any culprits. The task team is in its advanced stages of the inquiry, whose findings and recommendations will be submitted to the IGP (Kayihura)," Enanga explained.

Enanga said the "The police are on record for holding accountable any officers who break the law or act contrary to the force's principles and set-out standards."

Sources indicated that senior Police officers and their junior detectives were are embroiled in a dispute since the investigations into the suspected 80kg cocaine scandal were sanctioned last year.

A kilograme of cocaine has a street value of $50,000 (about sh167m).

Sources also revealed that the racket has been in place for years and that instead of destroying the seized cocaine, heroin and other drugs; large quantities have found their way into the market.

Entebbe is one of the airports in Africa used as a transit route for smuggled drugs.

This has culminated into suspected victimisation and transfer of junior officers. The racket came to light after detectives took 17 separate samples from the stores for testing at the Government Analytical Laboratory (GAL) last year.

Sources said the results showed wheat and cassava flour and other substances were substituted for cocaine.

David Mutende, a GAL expert, is one of the officers named in the Police case. Mutende, however, could not be reached for a comment.

A source said the motive was to verify whether the drugs were missing from the stores or not after information leaked that the impounded cocaine was being stolen, sold and replaced with other substances.

When contacted, Caleb Mwesigye, the AVIPOL commandant, said all drugs that have since been seized are still in stores at the airport.

"I will not comment further than that."

The 2014 Police crime report Twenty-two cases of drug trafficking were reported and investigated, of these 15 convictions were secured, three cases were dismissed, one case is pending in court and three cases were still under inquiry.

Twenty suspects were arrested, of whom five were Ugandans, three Guyanese, two Nigerians, two Sierra Leoneans, two Liberians, two Egyptians, one Ghanaian, one Guinean, one Burundian and one Cote d' Ivorian.

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