The Internal Affairs Ministry has warned blacklisted labour export firms against withholding the passports and National Identity cards of the people they had planned to send out before their suspension. Last week, the government suspended eight labour export firms.
The affected firms include the Middle East Consultants found at Tank Hill road in Muyenga, Rider Uganda Ltd in Bukoto, Al-Said Agency Ltd in Kibuye along Salama road, Eagle Supervision Ltd at Mengo, Forbes Enterprises Ltd in Kiwatule, Top-Notch Recruitment Services, Fly International Jobs and Sahara Recruitment Agency Ltd in Lubaga.
The government accused the companies of engaging in different criminal acts including others submitting fake bank guarantees during their license renewal, forged tax clearance certificates, illegally charging prospective recruits without securing them jobs, and human trafficking.
Addressing Journalists at Naguru Police Headquarters, Agnes Igoye, the Coordinator of Anti-human Trafficking in the Internal Affairs Ministry, said many Ugandans have complained to her department that the affected companies are withholding their travel documents with intentions of extorting money from them.
According to Igoye, passports are government property, saying that whoever withholds them illegally risks arrest. She advised the affected persons to report to the nearest police station and provide proof for follow-up.
Igoye also revealed that they have received calls from several people whose relatives traveled under the suspended firms.
“We encourage them to visit our office so that we work with the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Interpol to ensure that such cases are also dealt with,” she said.
In her 2020 crime report, the Director of Criminal Investigations, Grace Akullo showed that 482 people were victims of transnational trafficking. According to the report, 257 of these went to Dubai while Kenya and Oman came second and third with 165 and 39 victims respectively.
“Trafficking in persons is not just in Kampala but also upcountry has cases including child trafficking and organ harvesting as well as child sacrifice. All this includes trafficking in persons, not just taking people abroad,” Igoye said.