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New Criminal Gangs Target Boda Boda Cyclists in Arua :: Uganda Radionetwork
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New Criminal Gangs Target Boda Boda Cyclists in Arua

Preliminary police reports suggest that the unidentified robber offered Asega a bottle of beer suspected to be laced with chloroform, causing him to fall asleep. Seizing the opportunity, the robber absconded with Asega's motorcycle unnoticed.
Josephine Angucia, West Nile Region Police spokesperson (File Photo)

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The recent surge in motorcycle thefts in Arua City has sparked fear among cyclists as criminals are employing a new strategy involving suspected chloroform intoxication. Over the past four days, at least two motorcycles have been stolen after the riders were allegedly given water and beer laced with suspected chloroform.

The most recent incident occurred on August 4, 2023, when Musema Asega, a resident of Aroi ward in Ayivu division, was robbed of his motorcycle by an unidentified robber at a roadside bar near Arua hill roundabout along Arua Pakwach highway.

Preliminary police reports suggest that the unidentified robber offered Asega a bottle of beer suspected to be laced with chloroform, causing him to fall asleep. Seizing the opportunity, the robber absconded with Asega's motorcycle unnoticed. 

Josephine Angucia, the West Nile Region Police spokesperson, says that police are actively investigating whether the intoxication was orchestrated by the bar attendant or the suspected robber, who is currently evading capture.

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A similar incident took place on Friday last week when an unidentified robber tricked Mercy Okutibo, another boda boda rider, and stole his motorcycle near Awindiri market in Ayivu division. The suspected thief offered Okutibo drinking water, after which he began to feel dizzy and eventually lost consciousness. Upon regaining consciousness, Okutibo discovered that his motorcycle had been stolen.

Elmahad Salim, the chairperson of the Arua City Boda Boda Association, urged fellow boda boda cyclists to exercise heightened vigilance regarding their passengers in light of this new wave of motorcycle thefts. “In all these cases, the motorcycle has been robbed by thieves who disguise themselves as customers. I appeal to my fellow Boda bodas to be vigilant with our passengers to avoid such things from happening,” he said.

The use of chloroform by suspected criminals for robbery has become increasingly common in the West Nile region since January 2023. In a notable incident earlier this year, assailants stole over UGX 164 million from Loms Forex Bureau and Money Transfer along Moyo road in Koboko Municipality after incapacitating the security guards with chloroform.

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