Middle East Consultants boss arrested over human trafficking, torture

The State House Anti-Corruption Unit has arrested two staff of Middle East Consultants, a labor export company for obtaining money falsely from over 27 men and women and torturing some of them.

According to the unit, Middle East Consultants owes people who had applied for jobs Shs51 million which dates as far as three years ago.

The two staff of the labour export company who have been taken into custody by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit have been identified as Benon Kunywana, the general manager and Ayamba Owen a field agent.

It is alleged that Kunywana obtained money from more than 20 people totaling up to Shs.51 million by false pretense, promising them jobs abroad in Arab countries, but the promises were not fulfilled.

The State House Anti-Corruption unit boss, Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema said that Ayamba was arrested at the airport trafficking about 27 girls to Arab countries using fake government documents.

“As for Owen, we intercepted you at the airport while trafficking 27 girls, you had forged Ministry of Labor documents. You’ve been on the run, we are happy today that we have got you and you will answer some of the questions of these victims,” Nakalema said on Monday.

The victims who were present as the duo was paraded said they initially lodged torture complaints at Kabalagala police station but were never helped.

The same happened with the ministry of labor until the State House Anti-Corruption unit moved in to arrest the two suspects

“I sold my land and Boda Boda that were sources of income for treating my mother and brought all the money to Middle East Consultants but I never got the job. They instead pushed and kicked me around when I demanded for my money,” said Lawrence Kibira as he pointed at wounds on his feet.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire said they have opened up cases against the two and that the victims who claim were tortured will be subjected to medical checkups to prove the claim.

“For those complaining about torture, you will be subjected to medical checkups, and if proven true, that’s another case,” Oweyesigyire said.

On interrogation, the two suspects admitted that they had taken money from the group but promise to pay it back.

“It is true I took money from them but I also want to state it that I am paying most of them today, with Shs29M and the balance will be paid on Friday,” Kunywana said.

Lt.Col.Nakalema, however, said this does not exonerate him noting that the charges against the duo will proceed.

The state House Anti-Corruption unit has been investigating over 30 companies that export labor on cases of human trafficking and among them is Middle East Consultants whose staff were arrested on Monday.

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