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Koboko Ambulance Impounded With 16 Sacks Of Smuggled Cigarettes

The impounded Koboko district Ambulance at Pakwach URA Service centre/ Courtesy photo

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement team at Pakwach checkpoint has impounded an ambulance belonging to Koboko district Local Government, which was transporting smuggled cigarettes.

The Toyota Land Cruiser registration number UBD 512X, driven by Nobert Abukuwa, was seized with 16 sacks of Supermatch cigarettes at around 3:00 a.m. on Sunday in Pakwach district.

Sylvester Kiwanuka, the Uganda Revenue Authority Customs manager for the Northern region, confirmed the incident, stating that the driver, along with the impounded vehicle, has been transferred to Kampala, where he is expected to appear in court.

Sacks of smuggled Supermatch cigarettes

“It’s true. Our officers intercepted the ambulance in Pakwach. The driver and the vehicle are now in Nakawa,” he said. 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.

According to Ashraf, he has already instructed the Chief Administrative Officer, John Bosco Akera, to initiate disciplinary action against the errant driver.

Michael Ajule, the North Division councilor told our reporter that the impounded ambulance was donated to the district by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for refugee health emergencies and referrals. He noted that this is the second time ambulances donated to the district for service delivery have been misused.

Juma Mawa, the Dranya Sub-County councilor stated that the council has called for thorough investigations into the matter to address such issues in the future.

For decades, the West Nile region has been a hot spot 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.

-URN

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