Suspended labour export companies have no right to confiscate passports and National IDs of Ugandans who had planned on travelling with them before the suspension.
Last week, government suspended 8 Labour export companies namely; Middle East Consultants Limited, Al-Saud Agency Limited Kibuye, Salama Road, the Eagles Supervision Limited, Forbes Enterprises Limited and Ridar Uganda Ltd.
Others are; Top Notch Recruitment Services (U) Limited, Fly International Jobs (u) Ltd and Sahara Recruitment Agency Limited whose License renewals were terminated.
The eight companies were suspended for involving in different criminal acts including; submitting fake bank guarantees during licence renewal, submitting forged tax clearance certificates, illegally charging prospective recruits without securing jobs for them while others were punished for engaging in trafficking among other offences.
Agnes Igoye, coordinator of anti-human trafficking at ministry of internal affairs says many Ugandans have called to report to her department that the said companies are withholding their travel documents.
She warns that a passport is a government property and anyone who withholds it will be arrested. “Please go and report to the nearest police station and bring us the evidence so we can follow up and ensure that such cases are resolved” she said.
Speaking at the joint security press conference at Naguru police headquarters on Monday morning, Ms. Igoye said that they have also received calls from other Ugandans whose people had already traveled under the suspended companies.
She encouraged them to visit her office and that her office will liaise with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Interpol to ensure that such cases are also dealt with. Igoye advised Ugandans to check with Ministry of Labour for names of Companies that are allowed to carry out Labour export.
Also, a number of traffickers have been arrested and arraigned before Courts of law. In Nakawa, 52 cases, Kampala 47, Mbale 42, Mukono 37, Soroti 30, Jinja 21, Fort Portal 19, Kabale 19, Mubende 16, Mbarara 12, Lira 8, Masindi 7, Mpigi 6, Arua and Masaka 4 each while Gulu has 2 cases.
“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 is included in trafficking in persons, not just taking people abroad” Igoye said.