Police rescue 38 victims, hunt for suspected human trafficker

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

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with police are hunting for a man suspected of trafficking 38 children and adults from seven different districts.

Agnes Igoye, the deputy national coordinator trafficking in person department at the ministry of internal affairs, has identified the wanted trafficker as Quirish Nsamba, who was keeping the victims in an unfinished building in Luzira, Nakawa division, Kampala.

Nsamba, according to Igoye, hoodwinked the children who include 16 girls and five boys that he was going to equip them with vocational skills. The ministry and police say Nsamba went to various districts claiming he was a hands-on skills trainer as well as a labour exporter.

The unsuspecting parents paid him 380,000 Shillings for each victim while the adults whom he promised to get jobs locally and abroad paid 650,000 Shillings each. But the children and adults were kept in the building for months without any serious training while adults became desperate after failing to get the jobs they had been promised.

It is reported that one of the adults decided to alert the local leaders who also alerted ministry of internal affairs and police which swung into action but Nsamba escaped leaving the victims alone in the unfinished building.

Igoye said during their interaction with the victims who also include girls who had just turned eighteen years and adults over 20 years, they noticed they had been trafficked from the districts of Mityana, Kiboga, Kassanda, Kamwenge, Kisoro, Masindi and Kabale.

Igoye said: “We are investigating a case of Nsamba Quirish. This is somebody who brought children and adults in unfinished building located in Luzira. He used deceit. He is right now on the run. He said he was offering them vocational skills. He removed national IDs and passports for those who had them.”

Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, the Permanent Secretary of ministry of internal affairs says there has been too much focus on cross border trafficking yet the biggest number of victims are internal. Musanyufu adds that fighting trafficking isn’t a vice that can be fought by one entity but it requires everyone’s efforts.

Musanyufu said: “We are discovering channels which are being used by traffickers. We need to be more alert. The success is because of a joint effort. No single agency can stop trafficking. It requires joint efforts. We have made achievement in fighting the vice but we still need a lot to do. We have a lot of victims in the country. We have a lot of child labor and sex exploitation.”

At least 1,295 people were trafficked internally and externally in 2021, of which 20 were recovered or repatriated dead. In addition, 175 victims were yet to be recovered by the end of last year.

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