Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement agents have impounded an ambulance transporting smuggled cigarettes from Koboko district local government at Pakwach checkpoint.
According to Sylvester Kiwanuka, the URA Customs manager for the Northern region, the Toyota Land Cruiser registration number UBD 512X, driven by Nobert Abukuwa, was seized with 16 sacks of Super-Match cigarettes at around 3:00 am. on Sunday in Pakwach district.
Kiwanuka verified the occurrence and said that the driver and the seized vehicle had been transported to Kampala, where he is scheduled to appear in court.
“It’s true; our officers intercepted the ambulance in Pakwach. The driver and the vehicle are now in Nakawa and the preliminary reports indicate that the vehicle, which originated from Koboko Town, was heading to Gulu to deliver the smuggled goods.
It is alleged that the driver conspired with a soldier attached to Koboko Barracks, whose name has been withheld for security reasons, to transport the smuggled goods to Gulu.
Mambo Ashraf, the Koboko district LC V Chairperson, condemned the driver’s actions, accusing him of using the vehicle without permission of the medical superintendent of Koboko Hospital.
Mambo Ashraf, the Koboko district LC V chairperson, condemned the driver’s actions, accusing him of using the vehicle without permission from the hospital’s medical superintendent.
According to Ashraf, he has already instructed the Chief Administrative Officer, John Bosco Akera, to initiate disciplinary action against the errant driver.
The impounded ambulance was donated to the district by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for refugee health emergencies and referrals.
For decades, the West Nile region has been a hotspot for smuggling activities, which local leaders attribute to the numerous porous border entry points.
According to information from the Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda loses an estimated 5 billion shillings annually through smuggling.