Seven traders in Kampala are in police custody
on allegations of buying and selling electronics believed to have been stolen.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokerspeson, Patrick Onyango
identifies the suspects are Robert Kazibwe, Abdullah Lumala, Ashraf
Ssentongo, Rashid Kiwanuka, Med Kiberu and Vicente Muwonge.
The suspects, who police says are fond of buying and selling stolen items
particularly mobile phones were picked up from Cooper Complex on Wednesday
night and are currently locked up at the Central Police Station – CPS Kampala.
Police moved in to arrest the suspects following the arrest of a notorious phone snatcher one, Ali alias
Mosquito. Ali was released from custody a fortnight ago on similar offences but
resumed his trade.
According to Onyango, Ali named traders and shops where he
sells the stolen phones, which prompted a security raid.
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Ali, according to police, has several groups he
coordinates, whose members are being pursued.
Police have vowed to continue conducting the
operations until traders stop buying stolen electronics.
The suspects have been charged with
possession of suspected stolen items.
Isa Ssekitto, the Spokesperson Kampala City
Traders Association- KACITA, says they are concerned about the continuous
security crackdown on traders.
Much as Ssekitto says it is good for security
to fight crime, he faults police for failure to return the electronics with
legitimate documents after screening.
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Ssekitto says they have written to the Deputy
Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Stephen Muzeyi Sabiiti, raising their
complaints regarding the way the crackdown is being conducted. He insists that traders who have genuine
purchase documents should have their items returned.
In October and November last year, security
teams comprising the army, police and CMI conducted an operation aimed at
recovering stolen phones, vehicles and motorcycles, which saw the arrest of 350
traders at Katwe, Muganzirwazza, Cooper Complex and Mutaasa-Kafeero.