UPDF masquerader arrested for smuggling pens worth millions

On Wednesday, the Uganda Revenue Authority field service team intercepted a truck registration number UAE 050F accompanied by a minivan registration number UAZ 637N along Mukono- Kayunga road.


The truck was carrying over 200 cartons of exotic pens worth shs300million. The driver of the van identified as Davis Bakashabaruhanga wore Military apparel and once stopped, he flashed a Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) identity card.

According to Julius Nkwasire, the URA Assistant Commissioner in charge of Field Services, the team on ground quickly got in-touch with their counterparts in the UPDF to establish the authenticity of the flashed credentials and why the “soldier” was in possession of smuggled goods. UPDF refuted Bakashabaruhanga’s credentials hence his arrest.

Nkwasire revealed that interrogations on Bakashabaruhanga also led to the arrest of one Emmanuel Kwesiga who is believed to be in this syndicated crime.
He added that investigations were still on-going and that all the culprits will be presented in courts of law.

UPDF spokesperson, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso condemned acts of abusing the military uniform emphasizing that this will not be tolerated. In her statement, she called on the public to be vigilant and report all such masqueraders who set out to tarnish the name of the UPDF.

“This is a warning to all those involved in misusing the UPDF uniform. Today, these are matters regarding national revenue which were so much needed by the government in this pandemic. We shall stand to deal with the culprits regardless of who is involved,” Byekwaso cautioned.
Nkwasire noted that URA has enhanced customs intelligence and surveillance throughout the country to curb smuggling, emphasizing that all those involved should stand warned. URA loses about shillings 985 million per day to smuggling.

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