URA detains suspected smuggler with cosmetics disguised as baby from DR Congo

Wednesday January 8 2020

The suspect was apprehended by Mpondwe

The suspect was apprehended by Mpondwe enforcement team as she attempted to cross with the banned cosmetics disguised as a baby on her back into Uganda. 

By Benjamin Jumbe

Officials from Uganda Revenue Authority have arrested a woman suspected to be smuggling banned cosmetics from DR Congo into Uganda.

The suspect was apprehended by Mpondwe enforcement team as she attempted to cross with the banned cosmetics disguised as a baby on her back into Uganda.
The Authority’s commissioner corporate affairs Ian Rumanyika said the arrest followed intelligence information about this mode of smuggling where women use the disguise of carrying babies on their backs to smuggle into Uganda contraband cosmetics.
“We got information that some ladies were using a cover of carrying babies to smuggle in some contrabands which in specific are cosmetics,” Mr Rumanyika said.

He said the authority then monitored the suspect and the bus she boarded from Congo into Uganda before it was intercepted and the suspect apprehended.
“We intercepted the bus not at the border but along the way because we wanted to make sure if there were more ladies involved then they are got in the other buses unfortunately we only got one person who had concealed contraband cosmetics in a dummy baby,” Rumanyika added.
He said the suspect whose details are yet to be disclosed was still making a statement at Mpondwe police station and "would later be transferred to Kampala for prosecution.

Rumanyika added that Protection of Ugandans from the consumption of harmful goods is one of the mandates of the customs department and as such, they will not allow such items into the country.
He urged Ugandans to desist from the usage of harmful skin lightening cream which contain dangerous ingredients such as hydroquinone and mercury which are said to cause skin cancer.
This comes barely a week after the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) banned at least 177 cosmetic products on grounds that they contain Hydroquinone. They include Rico Complexion Cream and Rico Soap, Mekako Antiseptic Soap, Maxilight, Carolight among many others.

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