Ugandan Community Leaders in Turkey accused of Human Trafficking

The victim at the hospital in Turkey

The leadership of the Ugandan Community in Turkey is accused of involving in human trafficking, forcing many Ugandans into prostitution and drug abuse.

According to a tweet from a one Urfali Mehmed, a Ugandan lady (name held)  who was in labor sought for his help to secure her passport from the community leaders so that she can have access to medical care from the hospital.

In a tweet, Mehmed who is a human rights defender revealed that he had approached the community offices  to request for the lady’s passport but the leadership headed by the information minister, Musa Mbabali refused to surrender the lady’s passport on claims that they are still demanding her money.

Mehmed tweets

Translation below:

The woman who will give birth, the Uganda committee association confiscated her passport, do prostitution and bring 10 dollars, take her passport, I am there now, they did not give me her passport, they have a lot of women’s passports.@istanbul_EGM.@Gocidaresi.@Abdul_kadir_bal.@TarlabasiDayani

We tried to understand how the lady fell victim and we have since gathered from reliable sources that many Ugandans have for many years fallen victim.

Sources have revealed that  Ugandans in Turkey have for long hoodwinked their colleagues in Uganda promising them better jobs as soon as they reach in Turkey. They have gone further to offer sponsorship of their travel expenses upon promise that when they reach the foreign land, they will work and pay back.

As these victims land in Istanbul, their passports are immediately taken away by their sponsors. Before it’s too long, the victims are forced into prostitution and drug trafficking so as to pay back  yet the promised jobs are nowhere to be seen.

“These passports are later deposited at the community offices in Aksaray Istanbul since the community leaders have offered to demand from the victims until they fully settle their debts with their sponsors,” another source revealed.

The community leaders according to sources do this at a fee ranging between 300USD to 500USD that is paid by the sponsors upon the full settlement of the debt by the victim.

However, the community leadership has since distanced itself from involvement in human trafficking noting that it only plays a role of arbitration between victims and those that sponsor them to Turkey.

The association President Husein Ssemyalo told this News site that it is unfortunate that the lady in conflict has chosen to shift blame to the community leadership instead of blaming the person that took her to Turkey  who has since confiscated her passport.

“The allegations are false, it isn’t true. The community leadership is here to help Ugandans and we are working hard to see that she is helped. She just had issues with an individual and she put the blame on UCT,” Ssemyalo said.

On allegations that the community leadership confiscates passports of many Ugandans especially ladies and forces them into prostitution, Ssemyalo had this to say: “It isn’t true every Body has their passport only that the lady had issues with the person who brought her to this country so she shifted the blame to UCT”.

Ssemyalo noted that UCT has since got in touch and they are doing everything possible to trace the lady’s sponsor so that she can hand over passport.

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