By Eddie Ssejjoba
- Kasingye said the vehicle was abandoned in a parking lot at a restaurant behind Wandegeya Market.
- He attributed the recovery to good bi-lateral relations between countries under the umbrella organisation of Police chiefs in Eastern Africa.
The Nairobi State House BMW attached to the Kenyan security detail of President Uhuru Kenyatta has been recovered in Wandegeya, Kampala. The car was stolen last week.
According to the Police and eye witnesses, it was abandoned by suspected carjackers near Wandegeya Market.
The BMW limousine was stolen by gunmen from its official driver in Nairobi city last Wednesday.
Sources revealed to New Vision that the State House car had been vandalized, with the driver’s window smashed.
The registration plates had also been plucked off although it bore an insurance and tax sticker on the windscreen, which the Police suspect to be a forged.
The vehicle was briefly parked at Wandegeya Police Station, but operatives from the Police’s Flying Squad and counter-terrorism personnel drove it to an unknown address.
According to the director of Interpol Uganda, Asan Kasingye, the vehicle had been abandoned in a parking lot at a restaurant behind Wandegeya Market, but no one was found at the spot.
He attributed the recovery to what he described as strong growing bi-lateral relations between countries under the umbrella of the Eastern Africa Police Chief Cooperation Organization.
“We developed a system of communication under Interpol I-24/7 secure communication network, which has been extended to border points and it is used to report any high profile crime to neighboring countries.’’
‘‘It also ensures that criminals don’t cross border points to other countries,” Kasingye said. He revealed that Kenyan security forwarded information that one of the main suspects had a girlfriend in Mbale town and the phone tracking system indicated that they were in touch.
“Our forces were able to trace the girl and went to her. She made a few calls and it gave us some leads until we got the vehicle in Wandegeya,” Kasingye explained.
“A few arrests have been made. With such cases you expect many people behind the story; who planned, who executed and other issues,” he noted.
He said the Kenyan security were due to receive the vehicle last evening. Sources privy to investigations told New Vision the Ugandan Counter terrorism (CT) Police spent the great part of yesterday lifting fingerprints from the vehicle and scanning it to ensure no harmful devices had been attached to it.
Kasingye said every month, a vehicle is stolen and brought into Uganda, sometimes taken to Democratic Republic of Congo.
Last evening, The Star, a Kenyan daily, reported that the Kenyan Police was holding Nelson Topicho, the key suspect, arrested at a hotel in Bungoma town on Monday night.
The Police has summoned the driver of the BMW, Machui, for further questioning. Machui is required to explain circumstances surrounding the car robbery from his home in Utawala, Kenya.
According to Machui’s statement recorded at the Kayole Police Station, he left the Presidential Escort housing quarters at Highridge at 7:00pm and got to the Utawala shopping centre at around 8:00pm, where he stopped to buy cigarettes from a kiosk.
Upon return, he reportedly found four strangers leaning on the vehicle.
There was a brief commotion when one of the four ordered Machui to hand over the car keys, but he slapped him instead.
At that point, three armed thugs emerged from the darkness, brandishing pistols and an AK-47.
He reported that the criminals abandoned him in Embakasi, Kenya at around 2:00am.
President Uhuru’s vehicle abandoned in Kampala