Police has bust a gang of six people accused of waylaying trailers and robbing them of goods in transit along the Eastern Uganda border route. The suspects include four Kenyans and two Ugandans.
Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police, says the gang members were picked up between 6th March 2016 and 14th March 2016 following a deal gone bad. Onyango declined to reveal the identities of the suspects, saying it could jeopardise their investigations.
"We have arrested the suspects but we cannot reveal any more details since investigations are still ongoing," Onyango told URN. According to information obtained by URN, the suspects were netted after Bashir Ismail, the owner of trailer registration number UAT 548U and UAJ 459M filed a complaint at Kafumbe Mukasa police post under SD16/07/16 following the disappearance of his driver, Peter Rukundo.
It is alleged that on March 4, 2016, Rukundo informed Ismail he had a customer who needed to deliver his goods to Mukono. Rukundo went to execute the job but was unreachable by his boss for three days prompting him to file a police case.
However, it later emerged that Rukundo and the other 5 suspects had stolen coal tar from a hardware shop in Kampala sold it in Jinja and made another trip to collect more. Patrick Musa, a Kenyan national says after getting more coal they failed to sell it and decided to park in Kalerwe and find a buyer, where they were picked up from.
///Cue in: "Nilipo kimbiaâ€¦â€¦.
Cue out.... hatuja iuza"///
(I was in Busia, one of our people called me that there was a deal, i came because i needed money, i have a child and a wife to take care of. I advised them to get a buyer and we were still waiting for the buyer when we were arrested).
According to Musa, he was supposed to receive Shillings 10 million once the deal is done but this didn't happen as they were picked up before selling off their loot. Some of the suspects have also confessed to having been involved in hijacking a Kenyan trailer that was recovered by the Flying squad in January.
The Kenyan trailer was hijacked in Jinja on 31st December 2015. According to Musa, they hijacked the trailer with the help of some police officers he didn't name.
///Cue in: "Gari ya polisiâ€¦..
Cue out......... ya usiku"///
(It was a police car with armed police officers that picked me from Kampala and took me to where we hijacked the trailer. They then escorted the trailer up to a store in Iganga where the trailer full of coffee was to be sold)
How police captured some of the gang members
An operative in Flying Squad, who was part of the operation told URN on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to speak for the Unit, said they tracked the gangsters using the print out of Rukundo's call log.
He says that after failing to track Rukundo because he had turned off his known phone number, they decided to pick up one of his friends in Mengo. After thorough interrogation, he agreed to cooperate and led the operatives to Rukundo who also helped them to arrest all those who were in the deal with him.
He however, says they have still to arrest the gang leaders and other members. According to Musa, the members are not known to each other as they only use their first names.
He says the hijack of the Kenyan trailer was led by Medi, adding that apart from a phone contact he was using at that time, which has been switched off; Musa and the other suspects know nothing about him.
The print outs of the phone numbers of the other suspects still at large have been useless as the lines are only used in one deal and thrown away. Some of the numbers used are stolen, which gives false lead.