By Simon Masaba
Thugs posing as commuter taxi operators have intensified their activities in Kampala as Christmas draws closer.
The Police have warned that journalists, corporate employees and tourists in possession of handy items like laptops, money, phones and cameras are the main targets of robbers.
“As we get close to Christmas, economic crime is on the increase,” Ibrahim Saiga, the Katwe Police Commander, told New Vision.
“Stand warned and be cautious which taxi you board.”
The Police have identified the target spots as Busega roundabout, Kampala Northern Bypass, Kajjansi on the Kampala-Entebbe road, New Vision stage on Jinja Road, Old Port Bell Road, Kisasi-Ntinda road, Naalya-Namugongo road and Bunga-Kawuku road.
Saiga said the robbers also use private cars and park at various spots.
“The robbers also carry iron bars with them. They dupe passengers along various city roads by offering transport at cheap fares to various destinations. Ensure (passengers) that you board from gazetted areas like the taxi parks to avoid falling victims.”
In an operation mounted by the Police around Kampala city and its outskirts, they impounded two commuter taxis and a private car suspected to have robbed passengers.
The robbers abandoned the taxis in the middle of the road and fled. “We have identified them and the hunt is ongoing,” he said.
The commuter taxis are currently parked at Katwe Police Station, pending further investigations. Mid this year, Thomas Pere, a New Vision journalist, was killed and his body dumped in a trench in Masajja, Wakiso district.
His body was discovered in a roadside trench in Kibira on Busabala Road. Pere fell victim to thugs in a taxi on his way home.
They clobbered him to death before dumping his body.
His New Vision identity card, two Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, a phone, a bunch of keys and his wallet, were recovered on his body but his laptop and camera were missing.