By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: A joint operation between the Uganda Police and International Police (Interpol) has this afternoon impounded a truck carrying counterfeit sachet waragi and cosmetics worth Shs600 million in Kampala.
Interpol Director Benson Oyo Nyeko says that “The operation followed a tip-off that trucks transporting fake waragi and cosmetics were heading to Kampala.” Nyeko added that “A team of police officers was deployed and indeed two trucks loaded with substandard waragi and cosmetics were found offloading in the City Centre.” Police said owners have since admitted that they had imported the products from West African countries where they are relatively cheap. Nyeko said that some of the impounded products are among those banned by the Uganda National Bureau of standards. The Bureau specifically banned skin-lightening products that contain mercury and hydroquinone, which are bleaching agents that, according to medics, can cause skin cancer if used in high concentrations.
Allan Mulindwa, the managing director of Stop Counterfeit Products in Africa, a Platform formed to fight counterfeits, said there is a need to track how fake goods enter the country. Interpol last week in collaboration with Anti Counterfeit Network Africa impounded 5,000 fake car bearings worth Shs840 million. SKF a company that manufactures bearings said more than 30,000 fake car bearings pieces are on Uganda market and pose risk to drivers and passengers’ lives. Sachet waragi was banned by government recently as a way of reducing on levels of soil degradation caused by polythene bags.