The former Kaberamaido Member of Parliament, John Eresu, who is the patron of Khaleej Agencies, a labour exporting firm, has denied reports that they are involved in trafficking of young women.
The State House Anti- Corruption Unit (SHACU) together with the Police are investigating Khaleej Agencies over alleged trafficking of young women.
The authorities arrested the firm proprietors and held the 98 young women found confined at the company premises.
Eresu, a former chairperson of the National Citizenship and Immigration Board, said they had certificates and licences allowing them to export labour abroad.
Eresu confirmed that the girls and fellow company staff have been arrested and detained at various Police stations in Kampala.
While addressing journalists at the company premises, the special presidential advisor on legal affairs, Andrew Khaukha, said the operation followed a tip-off from a whistleblower.
“Through the call centre, the head of the SHACU received a call, with a complaint about this company in relation to confining people for many days,” he noted.
Khaukha said in a joint operation with the Police, they visited the premises where they discovered that 98 young women lived there in poor conditions. He noted that the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) had commenced investigations on the matter.
Police speaks out
The Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, said the head of the SHACU, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, called the Kampala Metropolitan commander to verify the alleged confinement of girls at the company premises, which was later confirmed by the Katwe Division Police commander.
He said they are investigating the circumstances under which the women were confined in the premises.
“Women were found in confinement, feeding badly and sleeping in small rooms. We are going to record statements from the directors and the girls to find out the truth. The statements will determine whether we arrest the directors or not,” Onyango said.
Denying confinement allegations, one of the directors said 10 of the women were last night scheduled to fly to Saudi Arabia for employment. Another group of 63, he added, would travel on August 25.
Onyango said those with verified documents will be left to travel since it is a licensed company.