The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority(UCCA) has asked the public to share specific timely information on the alleged extortion at Entebbe Airport.
This follows various trending social media videos highlighting cases of extortion of money from passengers through the airport.
In a statement dated January 19,2022, UCAA management condoned such acts and noted that where such incidents have happened, it is highly regrettable.
“It is important for the public to know that while UCAA facilitates operations at Entebbe Airport, this is done in liason with several independent providers for key services, including bit not limited to immigration handling agents (NAS and DAS), airlines, ministry of Health through Port health, security agencies, URA customs, and Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (Labour agents), among others,” reads an excerpt from the statement.
According to UCCA, previously reported cases with specific details have been thoroughly investigated and where staff of various agencies operating at the airport were found culpable, serious disciplinary action was taken including termination of contracts and withdrawal of Airport access passes from them, among others.
“We would like to reiterate our commitment to continue engaging all the airport services providers to take action on anyone found culpable of this vice, and also ensure that complaints are duly addressed to the satisfaction of the airport users,” said UCCA.
The aviation regulator further noted that had the trending videos specifically stated a particular check point,time, day and flight details of when the alleged extortion may have taken place, it would have helped the investigations.
“”We are contacting the parties in the tiktok videos to share with us information that can guide us to take quick action. In the past, we have investigated similar generalized claims made on tiktok, but unfortunately no specific information was established to corroborate the claims,” the statement reads in part.
The airport has cameras placed in strategic places for security reasons which UCCA said enables them address such issues when they occur.
The public has been urged not to be compelled or lured into paying money to any staff they interface with in the course of trav through Entebbe Airport.
“Please immediately report any cases of extortion in exchange of favors,including cases where the passenger has already left the airport. Any inappropriate financial dealings with any person within the airport is illegal and criminal. Whoever maybe found promoting it (passenger or employee) is liable to be charged for a betting commission of a crime,” the authority emphasized.