In a recent development, a truck driver is now at the center of legal proceedings, accused of possessing uncustomed goods worth an estimated 105 million Ugandan Shillings.
The individual in question, Amza Ssentongo, hailing from Tula zone in Kawempe division within Kampala district, has been formally charged with two distinct offenses at the Anti-Corruption Court situated in Kololo, Kampala. The case was brought before Magistrate Esther Asiimwe.
Ssentongo, aged 50, found himself facing charges on the 25th of August, 2023. The allegations against him are twofold: first, for being in possession of uncustomed goods, and second, for conveying these uncustomed goods. These charges are in accordance with sections 200(d) (iii) of the East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA).
According to the prosecution, led by Jordan Lanoka, the incident in question occurred on the 22nd of August, 2023, at a Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) checkpoint in Pakwach. Ssentongo was reportedly discovered to have 223 bags of Eurosome power milk, a product originating from France, valued at a total of 102 million Ugandan Shillings.
Additionally, the prosecution alleges that Ssentongo used a vehicle with the registration number UAN 910J to transport the aforementioned 223 bags of Eurosome power milk through the URA checkpoint in Pakwach.
During the court proceedings, Ssentongo firmly denied the charges brought against him. However, due to his inability to provide suitable sureties to vouch for him, he was remanded to Luzira prison.
Looking at the legal aspect, section 200(d) (iii) of the EACCMA outlines the potential consequences for individuals found guilty of such offenses. Upon conviction, the person may face a maximum prison sentence of five years or be required to pay a fine equal to fifty percent of the dutiable value implicated, or potentially both.
Furthermore, the Act specifies that an individual convicted under section 199(iii) may be subject to a fine of $5000 (approximately 18 million Ugandan Shillings) and could also face forfeiture of both the goods in question and the vehicle used for conveyance.