Uganda: Two Bolivians Arrested At Entebbe International Airport Over Drug Trafficking Charges

12 October 2019

Police in Uganda are holding two Bolivian nationals over drug trafficking charges.

Choque Condori Emilio, 22, and Martinez Villarpando Pedro, 24, arrived at Entebbe International Airport on September 29 looking starved, according to authorities.

Aviation officers offered them a meal and water but they turned it down.

Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesman Luke Owoyesigyire said when they rejected a meal, it raised the officers' suspicion as they looked weak, with dry lips.

"They were held for some time and then nature took its course. Each passed out 100 pellets that were taken by detectives and found out that they contained cocaine weighing 2,914. 82gms in total," Assistant Superintendent of Police Owoyesigyire said.

They were arrested on charges of unlawful possession of narcotic drugs and trafficking of narcotic drugs contrary to Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (Control) Act 2016.

The offences attract a life sentence on conviction.

ASP Owoyesigyire said drug traffickers, who swallow pellets don't take meals or water until they reach their intended destination.

Taking meals forces them to pass out the drugs in a few minutes.

"When we suspect that someone swallowed pellets, we keep him or her until they pass out the drugs," he said.

According to the suspects' travel documents, they travelled from Brazil in South America to Adidas Ababa in Ethiopia, and connected to Entebbe International Airport.

The suspects have so far declined to name the person they were to deliver the drugs to in Uganda.

However, their file has been sanctioned by the State Attorney and they are to appear in court.

Security agencies say many drug barons use poor people in third world countries as couriers of contraband and they are rarely arrested.

According to United Nations Office for Crime and Drugs, Uganda is considered as a transit route for narcotic drugs to Europe, US, Middle East and Asia.

In 2018 and 2017, Aviation Police seized 0.6 tonne of narcotic drugs and arrested more than 50 suspects.

Among them was nationals from Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Portugal, Latvia, Ukraine, Italy and Norway.

Heroin and cocaine remain the major drugs seized at Entebbe International Airport.

All the 20 suspects arrested last year were convicted.

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