“Our own officers who are mandated to prevent trafficking of persons have again been aiding traffickers to sneak out persons through Lwakhakha boarder point into Kenya to the Middle East,” Wakube said
Police officers at Lwakhakha boarder point in Namisindwa district have been accused of aiding traffickers to sneak out girls through Kenya to Middle East countries.
MBALE- The accusation was on Friday made by Charles Wakube, the Elgon regional intelligent crime officer during a training workshop on application of the prevention of trafficking in persons act 2009 at Wash and Will Hotel in Mbale.
The workshop was organised by ministry of internal affairs in partnership with Uganda Police.
The training workshop was attended by resident state attorney, district internal security officers, probation officers, district police commanders, criminal intelligent officer aimed at training officer how to apply the prevention of trafficking in persons act 2009 to pin culprits.
"Our own officers who are mandated to prevent trafficking of persons have again been aiding traffickers to sneak out persons through Lwakhakha boarder point into Kenya to the Middle East," Wakube said
"We have police officers that have been reprimanded, others have been transferred and others are still being investigated." Wakube added.
Wakube said police officers have been conniving with traffickers to illegally recruit girls to be taken to the Middle East while others were helping the traffickers to forge immigration stamps and passports.
Wakube said police officers also ask for a lump sum of money from the traffickers so that they can help them strike deals of sneaking the girls without being arrested, adding that even the immigration officers are involved.
He noted that in some incidences Police have been capturing the traffickers sneaking out girls through porous border points but because girls are so desperate they tend to plead with officers and offer bribes so that they can be allowed to proceed with their journey.
Wakube also accused district local leaders more so the councilors of defending the traffickers and helping them to identify those hidden routes where they can sneak girls from Uganda into Kenya.
"There incidences where the files containing cases of traffickers have gone missing while other disappear on the way to the resident state attorney. Our CID officers have also mismanaged the files and cases," he said.
Recently the Namisindwa district security committee recommended that Uganda Peoples Defence Forces be redeployed at the border to help Police in curbing the rampant human trafficking.
Some of the police officers that have resisted the temptations of taking bribes to give the green light to traffickers have since received threats of being poisoned and gunned down from the councilors that deal with the traffickers.
"My life is now at stake because I have received enough threats of poisoning and gunning me down for resisting temptation of picking money from traffickers." One of the officers at Lwakhakha boarder point told the meeting.
The Commissioner of Police, Moses Binoga and co-ordinator prevention of trafficking in person's at the ministry of internal affairs condemned the act and warned that police officers that will be got aiding traffickers will face a jail term of not less than five years.
He said police officers are mandated to identify illegal recruiters in their respective areas of operation and prosecute the offenders but not to connive with them to break the law.
"Police should fight illegal recruitment of human traffickers. Guide the public to avoid using illegal recruiters and instead use the 104 licensed recruitment companies to recruit labour," Binoga said.
"Whoever will be found to have been aiding traffickers to forge stamps, coaching trafficked girls to deceive, forging passports or keeping victims in a hideout will face five years in prison. We are very serious," Binoga said.
He said prevention of trafficking in person act 2009 is divided into five main parts that include, preliminary interpretations, the offences related to trafficking in persons, guidelines for protection of victims of trafficking, issues related to jurisdiction of trial and prevention of trafficking persons office.