Some of the recovered phones
A month-long sustained operation against the concealment of smart phones by returning Ugandans and visitors at Entebbe Airport has led to the recovery of 575 pieces of assorted concealed mobile phones.
The operation–dubbed ‘unearth smart phones’ kicked off on 17th August 2023 following the gathering of intel that travelers were not thoroughly scanned as they boarded planes in Dubai and other they had devised novel concealment methods in the attempt to beat the watchful customs eye at Entebbe airport.
Entebbe Customs deployed strategically, positioning proper officers on the tarmac, baggage carousel, and scanners and at the exit points to profile, observe and search suspected passengers, baggage and abandoned items.
The phones were recovered from transporters’ bodies after body search, from compartments in their bags and abandoned packages. Most of the culprits were returning Middle East workers aka ‘Kadama” who were being taken advantage of to conceal and smuggle the phones.
By the time of its conclusion, operation “Unearth smart phones” had yielded 575 pieces of assorted mobile phones valued at $18,000 USD. The intercepted brands mainly included refurbished Apple IPhones, assorted Samsung phones, Vivo, Oppo, Docomos and Techno brands. The revenue expected from these recoveries is about Ugx 70 Million. Offence management has since ensued.