In the effort to fight transnational crime across the East African region, the Uganda Police Force Directorate of Interpol has called upon it’s Kenyan counterparts to join in periodic training of intelligence officers.
The move aimed to specifically fight drug and human trafficking which according to police is the major organized crime that grapples the security agencies in the region.
Addressing the press in Kampala on Friday, Director Interpol in Uganda Police Force Dr Fred Yiga highlighted that “There is need for Kenya and Uganda to always conduct periodic regional training of officers and community on the effects of drug traffic in order to catch up with ever changing trends of criminals in human and drug trafficking.”
He said that the directorate will soon start organizing refresher and capacity building for its intelligence officers and community policing in order to counter the ever sophisticated transnational criminal gangs.
The police director also revealed that in the recent operations on transnational crimes, the agency netted 27 suspects in an operation code named “Usalama” that is conducted in conjunction with countries in the East and South African regions.
Dr. Yiga said that operations were carried out between 27th September and 2nd October.
They were manned by security agencies in countries under the umbrella of Eastern African Police Chiefs Organization [EAPCCO] And Southern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization [SARPCCO].
“The operations targeted transnational border crimes which included, theft of motor-vehicles, human trafficking, wild life and environmental crimes, stolen documents, vandalism, narcotic drugs, illicit trade of small and light weapons and terrorism.”
the director added that police conducted operations alongside relevant security agencies and statutory public agencies like National Forestry Authority, Wildlife, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda National Drug Authority, Directorate of Public Prosecution and Immigration.
He revealed that 16 suspects were arrested for being in possession of protected tree species and were sentenced to two years in prison.
Five people were also netted for being in possession of wildlife products such as leopard skin, game meat, ivory weighing 36.4kgs, while others for vandalism, theft of motor vehicles and dealing in narcotic drugs.