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Uganda Lacks Machine to Detect Drugs – CIID Director

CIID Director Grace Akullo recieves equipment from Peter West.

The Police Director in Charge of Criminal Investigations Department, Grace Akullo has revealed that the country doesn’t have a scanner to detect drugs at the major entry and exit points.

Akullo made the revelation on Tuesday at CIID headquarters in Kibuli, during a function to receive equipment from the British High Commissioner to be used by the anti- narcotics department.

“We have a challenge of the colour separator scanner .The one at Entebbe handled by Civil Aviation Authority only detects metals and guns but not drugs,”Akullo said.

“When traffickers swallow pellets, or hide drugs in bags and big dolls, we can’t manage to detect them.”

According to Akullo, Uganda has not only been a transit for drug traffickers but has in the past become a home to users of drugs.

She cited an example of a ‘high profile’ official from South Africa who died in a hotel in Uganda recently and his wife was left lame due to drugs.

The Acting commissioner in charge of anti- narcotics, Tinka Byarugaba said that the main entrance and exit root for drugs in Uganda is Entebbe airport.

“Landing sites on L. Victoria and courier companies like DHL and Post Office are also used to transport drugs,” Byarugaba said.

Byarugaba however decried lack of enough officers to handle drug related crimes.

He said police officers lack skills to do clandestine lab and back track investigations.

According to the acting commissioner in charge of anti- narcotics at CIID, over 1900 kilograms of cannabis, Heroine 64 kg, and 14.6 kg of cocaine were confiscated at the airport last year.

The British High Commissioner Peter West said the equipment would help police in the fight against trafficking of drugs.

“You are fortunate that level of drug abuse is still low in Uganda but there is need to fight the crime because traffickers would want to make sure the population get addicted to drugs, “West said.

The equipment handed over to the police Criminal Investigations Department included cameras, laptops and scanners.

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