The group that included 32 men and four women was charged with offences ranging from unlawful procurement of sim-cards, doing business in Uganda without trading licences, having suspected stolen items to unlawful possession of protected wildlife species.
Prosecution told court that Lin Shao Sheng , You Jin Dao and Lijia Zhao who are the prime suspects were on March, 19, 2020 found carrying out the business of phone and computer scrap dealings without trading licences and whereas the other 34 were charged for helping the trio commit the crimes.
The offenses were reportedly committed in Kireka, Kira Municipality in Wakiso District.
It is also alleged that, the group was also found disassembling several mobile phones and computers for trading purposes without a trading license.
According to prosecution, when a search was mounted on the building they were operating from, the Chinese were found in possession of suspected stolen property which included computer mother boards, phones and electricity metres.
The group was also found in possession of 1895 Airtel and 223 MTN simcards registered in Ugandan names which they were reportedly using for “We Chat” an online platform for messaging and financial transactions.
They were also charged for unlawful possession of protected wildlife species including six tortoises and pangolin shells.
However, some of these pleaded guilty to the charges relating to unlawful procurement of sim-cards and being in possession of suspected stolen property.
The 36 Chinese arrived at Buganda road premises on Friday afternoon in two separate shifts and in a bid to ensure social distancing as one of the measures by government to combat the spread of coronavirus pandemic, the session was held in the court compound.
There was however confusion on where to remand the ground due to government guidelines on coronavirus that don’t permit overcrowding.
It took the intervention of CID Director, AIGP Grace Akullo who was also at court to make several phone calls until they were directed to remand the 36 Chinese nationals to Kitalya government prison along Mityana road.