NDA, Police arrest 7 suspects in connection with illegal possession of gov’t drugs worth 300 million

NDA, Police arrest 7 suspects in connection with illegal possession of gov’t drugs worth 300 million

National Drug Authority (NDA), working with Uganda Police has carried out a targeted enforcement operation in Ntoroko and Kyenjojo Districts and arrested 7 suspects in connection with illegal possession and sell of government drugs and medical equipment worth over 300 million Ugandan shilings.

The suspects include Samuel Lan Mwesige, an in-charge of Bweramule Health Centre Il, Mary Mbabazi, an enrolled nurse who was also acting as the stores in-charge for Bweramule Health Centre ll and Alex Mbusa, a porter working with Bweramule Health Centre lll in Ntoroko district. A one Mbusa Alex was found around Karugutu town at his home in possession of drugs and he confessed that he sells drugs to blockers who take them Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Other suspects who were arrested included Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP) Tuke Yusuf Katuramu, a police officer who is also a health officer working with Kyenjojo Police Health Centre l, Denis Blessing, the proprietor of Denis pharmaceuticals in Kyenjojo, lsingoma, Isiah and Bwamabale Tom

During this inteligence-led operation several government drugs and medical supplies including more than 100 tins of ARVs, Anti Malaria, 80 cartons of Malaria test strips, 100 boxes of HIV and Hepatitis B test strips, several doses of unpacked Antibiotics and Paracetamol, 12 jerry cans of laboratory detergents, among others.

Denis Blessing, the lead blocker of government drugs in the region was masquerading as a pharmacist of Buhinga Hospital in Fort Portal and has been running an illegal pharmacy (Denis's pharmaceutical), conducting an unlicensed mobile distribution using motorcycles in Kitangwenda, Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo and remote areas like Kyarushozi

Abiaz Rwamwiri, the National Drug Authority spokesperson noted that;

“Over 32 cartons of assorted drugs suspected to be relabeled and repackaged government drugs were impounded form Denis' pharmaceuticals.”

“Pilferage of drugs meant for government facilities deprives the public of their right to access to healthcare and has long lasting consequences on the country's development as well as loss of trust in the country's healthcare system.” He added.

The drugs and diagnostic kits that were recovered were not properly stored which could potentially compromise their safety, quality and efficacy.

The suspects are held at Fort Portal Police Station and will be produced in courts of law to answer charges of; unlawful possession of government stores contrary to section 316 of the Penal Code, carrying on the business of a pharmacist without a license contrary to section 14(3) of the National Drug Policy and Authority (NDAP) Act as well as unlawful possession of classified drugs centrally to section 27(2) of the NDA/P Act.

Those who were working with government will also be charged with coruption and abuse of office.