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Nigerian businessman flees after URA impounds over 10, 000 boxes of Contraband

By Davis Mugabi

Investigations are underway to ascertain how the errant Nigerian businessman smuggles contrabands into the country.

• Authorities are still verifying consignments to determine the monetary value of the contrabands.

• Intelligence-guided operations have been intensified to apprehend the dubious Nigerian businessman.

As the saying goes ’39 days are for the monkey to enjoy, but the 40th day is for the owner of the garden’, in the early hours of December 6 & 7, 2023, officers from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) finally swung into action, sealed off & impounded illegal & expired cosmetic goods belonging to the dubious Nigerian businessman, Mr. Augustine Nnamdi Onmuvuche, at Kavule & Lungujja stores.

The operation followed a long outcry by two whistleblowers, regarding the dubious dealings of the unscrupulous Nigerian businessman.

What transpired..

A team from Chief of Military Intelligence (CMI), Uganda Police Force (UPF), Internal Security Organization (ISO), & Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) joined URA in an operation to search stores in Kavule & Lungujja, where contrabands worth billions of Ugandan shillings have been unearthed.

It all began with cutting padlocks, because the dubious Nigerian refused to provide keys. The search at Kavule stores, in the basement of Twin Tower Hotel, unearthed illegal & expired cosmetic goods, including lightening creams, caro light, virgin hair fertilizer, eclaircissant savon soap, maxi-clean cream, tamarine gold cream, ecrat white savon cream, secret tube body cream, fair & lovely, gluta secret lightening body lotion, among others.

In the due process, the errant Nigerian, who was on the run, learnt of the search, sending a Police officer named ASP Tumuhimbise Anslem (attached to Kabalagala Police Station), and his shop attendant to bribe the team. The two were, however, overpowered and dismissed with the search proceeding.

Immediately, URA swung into action, deploying UPDF officers at Kavule stores, to monitor the situation. The team also coordinated with security forces & local leaders to bolster surveillance efforts.

Lungujja

On learning that the tag teams were searching his Kavule stores, the Nigerian escaped from his Lungujja residence, with forged URA stamps and documentations. This news site has also learnt that the dubious Nigerian keeps about UGX 7b in his house, because ‘mafias’ like him don’t bank their money.

Luck was, however, not on the smugglers’ side, as the team sealed off two big stores at his residence in Lungujja, and embarked on the search, where very dangerous cosmetics have been discovered in the basement of his house.

With support from security forces, URA has also established illicit cargo, altered car number plates, a vehicle with changed colour, and hidden motorcycles. Upon inspection by the URA team, a vehicle labelled ‘Lexus Land Cruiser’ registration number UAW 222A, had been changed to white from blue.

What the Nigerian’s son says

His son only known as ‘Peter’ says this isn’t the first time that his father’s merchandise has been impounded. He bragged that the illegal goods will sooner than later find their way back to the same stores. Peter mocked the team, insisting that his father has connections with big shots, thus not scared of the operations.

What the neighbours say

Four vehicles were earlier whisked away by the dubious Nigerian to unknown destination, who is suspected to be hiding in Baskerville Cell, Kololo.

According to one of the neighbours, the Nigerian businessman prefers a fugitive life, despite his accumulated wealth. The neighbour also intimated to the team that the Nigerian is involved in ongoing land wrangles, in Kiwenda, Busiika, where he bribes Police & local leaders, to ensure forceful evictions.

Also, during the search at Lungujja stores, a woman who had denied being married to Mr.
Onmuvuche, took off, only to be later established as the Nigerian’s wife.

Where the dubious Nigerian businessman stands

After being frustrated, Mr. Onmuvuche has resorted to blackmailing the two whistleblowers in the media, a ploy he thinks will deter their patriotic spirit.

Interestingly, Mr. Onmuvuche’s lawyer have since approached the team begging for forgiveness on behalf of their client, who they say has no clearance documents for the goods.

Initially, the Nigerian who had fabricated claims of aggravated robbery against the two whistleblowers, is now on the run.

What URA has done so far

Two full trucks of contrabands have been impounded from the Nigerian’s home in Lungujja, and taken to the Headquarters in Nakawa. Some sources say Mr. Onmuvuche runs shops in downtown ‘Kikubo’, where they allege that he sells and supplies mekako, cocaine & super match. Herein, URA intends to storm, confiscate these illegal goods and identity his agents.

It’s also believed that Mr. Onmuvuche has a manufacturing plant in Nigeria, producing the illegal goods, which he transports through Côte d’Ivoire, to the porous Mpondwe custom border (DRC) into Uganda, thus considered to be a negative force.

URA team has vowed to stand its ground, and deal with the dubious Nigerian who has for more than 10 years landed the country into revenue losses.

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