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Man Arrested for Reporting False Abduction of Tourists

The man identified as Stephen Kakooza, a driver of Crane Mitsubishi motor vehicle registration UAY 061Z reported the case of abduction at Pakwach Police Station vide CRB:247/2020 alleging that he found three vehicles carrying abducted tourists parked along the Karuma - Arua highway.
ASP Patrick Jimmy Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Publicist speaking to URN during an interview - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 2

Aswa Region Police is investigating a man for allegedly giving false information in connection to a suspected case of abduction of foreign tourists in Murchison Falls National Park in Nwoya District.

The man identified as Stephen Kakooza, a driver of Crane Mitsubishi motor vehicle registration UAY 061Z reported the case of abduction at Pakwach Police Station alleging that he found three vehicles carrying abducted tourists parked along the Karuma - Arua highway.

The incident purportedly happened around Ayago Bridge on Thursday around 3 p.m. in Murchison Falls National Park, about 20 kilometres from Karuma Bridge, along Karuma – Arua highway in Nwoya District.

Kakooza, who was driving to Arua, told police in a statement that unknown people also stopped his vehicle, abducted him and drove him in another vehicle to a strange location before robbing him of 500,000 Shillings.

 

He also claims that the kidnappers forced him to abandon his vehicle on the road with a turn-man. However, he further claims that upon returning he and the turn boy drove away to Pakwach where they reported the matter.

Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, Patrick Jimmy Okema disclosed Kakooza first contacted Police Headquarters in Kampala before the same information was relayed to the region for immediate attention.

According to Okema, an integrated team of highway police from Aswa, West Nile and Kyoga regions were notified to respond to the emergency adding that police drove back Kakooza from Pakwach to the alleged scene of the crime but found nothing.

//Cue in: “We are not…

Cue out… there was nothing.”//  

According to Okema, police cannot rule out foul play in regards to the incident and now want to conduct an analysis of Kakooza and his turn man's phone conversations before the incident to ascertain the truth. 

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Cue out… at Pakwach police.”//  

Police are also investigating why the duo bypassed Agung and Purongo police posts which as less than 20km apart up to Pakwach where they preferred to record the case.

Several days of search by a patrol team of integrated highway police based at Agung Field Force Unit (FFU) detach never yielded any results even after security mounted roadblocks in neighbouring Oyam, Omoro, Karuma and Pakwach in search of the alleged abductees.

Edison Nuwamanya, the Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA Chief Warden at the Murchison Falls National Park dismissed the alleged incident as just a prank.

Uganda last recorded an incident of abduction in April 2019 when an American female tourist, Kimberly Sue Endicott, and her driver-guide, Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo of Wild Frontiers were abducted at gunpoint from Queen Elizabeth National Park.