By Watchdog reporter

Mugisha Wilfred, a Kasese resident was busted by the south western enforcement team while attempting to smuggle into Uganda cosmetics from DR Congo concealed in a Toyota Premio Registration number UAZ 919E.

The cosmetics were stuffed in the bonnet of the car among other places making the concealment difficult to detect. Unfortunately, the team was already armed with Intel about Wilfred’s mission.

Uganda is losing tax revenue in a lucrative underground trade of smuggled goods, consisting mainly of cosmetics and motorcycles.

Sources at the Uganda Revenue Authority said that the value of goods impounded in Mpondwe, western Uganda at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo stood at Ush200 million ($57,734) per month by the end of September.

In 2015, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards banned the sale of cosmetics containing hydrotoxins and mercury due to the health risks they posed to consumers, but traders are secretly bringing them into the country.

The banned beauty products are popular because they cost below Ush5,000 ($1.4) per unit compared with an average price of Ush8,000 ($2.3) per unit for “safe” brands.