A woman traveling on a bus from DR Congo to Uganda was on Wednesday captured by the Uganda Revenue Authority enforcement team for smuggling illegal and banned cosmetics.
The woman yet to be identified had concealed the cosmetics and carried them as a baby but was intercepted at Mpondwe road in Kasese district.
Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has banned over 170 cosmetics products, mostly skin bleaching/ lightening products that contain mercury and hydroquinone which are known to cause skin cancer.
Because of the ban combined with the demand from Ugandan women that see bleaching as a new trend, traders have resorted to smuggling the products through all possible means.
According to Ian Rumanyinka, the manager Public Relations and corporate affairs URA, over the years, they have intercepted different smugglers with cosmetics concealed in jerricans, car tyres, in foods, however, this was the first time this kind of smuggling tactic was being used.
“We got information from our informants that ladies were smuggling goods in dummy babies so using our Intel, we intercepted the bus on the road, not at the boarder so that we would be able to get all of them but we only managed to get one,” he said
“Rumanyika added ” Smugglers would use any method to bring in these dangerous cosmetics which is very unfortunate.”
According to him, the woman has already recorded a statement at Mpondwe police station and will be transferred to Kampala tomorrow to be prosecuted and face the law.
Some of the banned cosmetics include Rico Complexion Cream and Rico Soap, Mekako Antiseptic Soap, Maxilight, Carolight among others