Authorities in Uganda have arrested a smuggler who tried to enter the country with banned skincare products hidden in a baby’s dress to look like an actual baby.
The smuggler’s luck ran out on Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo when her “baby” was revealed to be fake.
The contents of the baby dress were rather numerous skin-lightening products. The BBC reports that “tonnes of skin-lightening products get into Uganda every year” via the border with DR Congo.
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Although skin-lightening and bleaching creams are banned in many African countries, they still find their way in.
The products have been outlawed in countries such as Ghana, Togo, South Africa, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire but the demand for skin lightening has rather increased. Many Nigerian women and Senegalese too, use skin-lightening agents.
The conundrum lies in the products that are used to formulate skin bleaching creams and the likes.
Many include mercury, cortisone and hydroquinone; chemicals linked to skin cancer, high blood pressure, thinning of the skin, other forms of cancer, and kidney and liver failure.