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Dutch national arrested with heroin worth Shs 3bn

Ruben looks on as police search his bags

Ruben looks on as police search his bags

A Dutch national, Rai Jhinkole alias Ruben has been arrested by the aviation police at Entebbe International Airport for allegedly smuggling 64 kilograms of heroin. Ruben was intercepted on Wednesday afternoon enroute to Italy aboard Emirates airlines with several packages of heroin.    

Deputy Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, says Ruben was intercepted at the departure lounge holding two suitcases and upon screening they found drugs. Aviation police interrogated Ruben who reportedly accepted and revealed that he was moving the drugs to Italy. 

“He was destined to travel to Italy aboard Emirates and was intercepted with two suitcases containing altogether 59 packages each labeled "chococino special” and "richer chocolate taste,” Owoyesigyire said.

Police explained that the packages had a cream powdered substance suspected to be narcotics that was later identified as heroin. The total gross weight for the 59 packages was weighed and established as 63.9kgs. 

“Ruben is currently detained at aviation police custody in Entebbe and the exhibits pending forensic analysis at the Government Analytical Laboratory (GAL). After analysis, his file will be taken for legal advice to the resident state attorney (RSA) and he will later be arraigned before courts of law,” Owoyesigyire said. 

Police says it intends to expand investigations into the matter to establish whether the suspect is part of an organised gang, network or that of an individual worker. Tinka Zarugaba, the commander of the Anti-narcotics unit of Uganda Police, says a kilogram of heroin on black market costs about $15000 (Shs 56m).

In total, 64kg of heroin are valued at Shs 3.5 billion. In May, aviation police arrested seven suspected drug smugglers with 16kg of heroin. Owoyesigyire identified the suspects as Nansamba Zam Salim, a businesswoman and resident of Kawempe-Kulukadde, Kawempe division and Andrew Luwemba Kwagalakwe, a clearing agent with Confanent consult Co. in Entebbe and resident of Lugonjo Nakiwogo zone.  

Other suspects included Musinguzi Elly, a clearing agent with Answer Agencies and resident of Kabojja Kyengera in Wakiso district and Matcha Lobato Manbacar, a Burundian national holding Belgian travel documents.
© 2016 Observer Media Ltd