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Counterterrorism officer detained for attempted kidnap of human trafficking victim

Agnes Igoye, the deputy national coordinator trafficking in person department.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Criminal Investigation Directorate-CID is holding an officer from the Police Counterterrorism unit and a civilian on charges of aggravated human trafficking.

Aviation police arrested the suspects at Entebbe International Airport for allegedly trying to kidnap a human trafficking victim upon arrival at the airport. Agnes Igoye, the Deputy National Coordinator for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons has identified the suspects as Samuel Wabussajja and Jib Sseguya.

She explains that trouble for the duo started over the weekend when a 21-year-old female victim of sexual exploitation who was trafficked to Dubai escaped and returned to Uganda and they attempted to kidnap her upon arrival at the airport.

According to Igoye, the victim whose identity has been withheld by police was trafficked to Dubai by a Ugandan woman only identified as Cathy in February this year, with promises of employment only to be forced into commercial sex work.

“The victim was held by Cathy in Dubai, who placed her into that situation of dirty bondage because she facilitated her travel, confiscated her travel documents, and forced her into commercial sex in Dubai. She managed to escape and returned back to Uganda with the help of well-wishers,” Igoye said.

She however explains that upon the victim’s arrival at Entebbe International Airport, Wabusajja escorted her out of the airport, confiscated her belongings and handed her to Sseguya, whom she didn’t know.

This prompted the victim to raise an alarm that attracted other police officers who swung into action and arrested the suspects and handed them over to the CID for further management. According to Igoye, Sseguya informed immigration officers that he was acting on Cathy’s instructions to hold the victim until she clears Shillings 20million.

A detective at CID Kibuli headquarters, who is privy to the investigations, said the victim was subjected to medical examination and found to be HIV positive and pregnant. She claims to have contracted the virus in Dubai.

“The suspects have been operating as a syndicate on a large scale we are also trying to hunt for others still at large. They hoodwink girls with fake jobs in Dubai, but when they reach there, they force them into other acts,” the officer said. Igoye explains that most of the human trafficking victims are flown out of the country to Dubai on visitor’s visas.

The police annual crime report of 2021, shows that 421 cases of human trafficking were registered across the country, compared to 214 cases that were registered the previous year.

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