KAMPALA: The Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court has remanded five staff of Nile Treasure Gate Limited on charges of aggravated trafficking in persons.
The five who have been charged alongside the company include its directors Abubaker Sulaiman Kato and Muhammad Mariam, an agent Ali Hassan, the supervisor of the company Jennifer Nalunga, and a board member Salmah Muhammad.
The group appeared before the court presided over by Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Akullo Ogwal on Friday, and were charged with three offences of aggravated trafficking. The charges stem from reports that Judith Nakintu, a Ugandan who was taken to Saudi Arabia for domestic work had been criminally subjected to a kidney harvest.
Nakintu who had been working as a housemaid in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia since December 2019 was suspiciously returned to Uganda with the right kidney missing. However, her family was informed that she was involved in an accident, although the nature of the accident was not revealed.
Nakintu’s medical documents from Saudi Arabia indicated she was involved in a motor accident and sustained a kidney rupture. But Nakintu’s relatives accused Nile Treasure Gate, a Kiwatule-based labour export company of conspiring with medics in Saudi Arabia to illegally remove her kidney and disguise the incident as a road accident.
The court also heard that the accused persons together with their company and others still at large, between December 2019 and October 2021 in Uganda and Saudi Arabia were involved in a syndicated crime of recruiting and transporting Nakintu for purposes of exploitation. They reportedly connived to remove Nakintu’s kidney which made her suffer mutilation or life-threatening illness.
The court added that the suspects abused their power and authority to execute a mission through fraud or deceit. The five accused persons all denied the charges and have since been sent to Kitalya mini max prison until March 14, 2022, when they will return to be informed of the progress of investigations.
The company’s lawyer Atanansi Nsubuga maintains that Nakintu was involved in an accident on March 20, 2020, less than four months after leaving Uganda. Nsubuga explained that they have since been following the issue and even sued Nakintu’s employer Saad Dhafer Mohamed Al-Asmari to be culpable of the accident.
As a result, Nakintu was on January 30, 2022, awarded 270 million Shillings by a court in Saudi Arabia for the loss of her kidney.