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Ten suspects in State House theft nabbed in Rukungiri

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th September 2011 03:00 AM

TEN people, including a security operative, have been arrested in connection with the recent theft of millions of shillings from the heavily-guarded Okello House, which is part of State House, Nakasero.

By Caleb Bahikaho and Herbert Ssempogo

TEN people, including a security operative, have been arrested in connection with the recent theft of millions of shillings from the heavily-guarded Okello House, which is part of State House, Nakasero.

A security operative, Gideon Tumuhimbise and nine other suspects were picked from Rukungiri, western Uganda, by a security team comprising the Police and the Special Forces Group (SFG) yesterday morning. The security team has reportedly been in Rukungiri since Sunday.

Two other key suspects are reportedly still at large.

The total amount of money that was stolen from Okello House is still uncertain. SFG spokesperson Capt. Edson Kwesiga, who earlier stated that sh20m was stolen, yesterday said the amount could have been higher.

Media reports have indicated that the money stolen was in billions. There are also reports that some of the money was in US dollars. But the Police in Rukungiri yesterday declined to state the holding charges for the 10 suspects.

Tumuhimbise, a resident of Kamaga, Nyakishenyi sub-county, Rukungiri, hid under a bed in his cousin’s house in Kirimbe after realising that he had been cornered. The bed, however, was small and investigators saw him when they got into the bedroom, security sources told New Vision.

Security personnel, the New Vision learnt, had over the past days trailed Tumuhimbise, who reportedly shuttled between Rukungiri and Kanungu district, also in western Uganda.

Tumuhimbise, according to detectives, had deposited sh5m in Stanbic Bank’s Rukingiri branch.

He had reportedly deposited another sh10m in Rukungiri Centenary Bank branch while another 10m was deposited in Equity Bank, Kabale branch.

A deposit slip for the Equity Bank transaction was recovered from him.

Other suspects included his girlfriend and a brother-in-law, whom he reportedly bought a motorbike. Four of the suspects were transferred to Kampala yesterday, while six are still detained at Rukungiri Police Station.

Tumuhimbise, his brother-in law and two other unidentified people were driven to Kampala as the probe into the theft at Okello House in Nakasero, Kampala, continued.

In spite of several calls to State House officials, New Vision could not ascertain the position Tumuhimbise held before the daring theft. Investigators, however, said he played a central role in the theft.

Capt. Kwesiga confirmed the arrests but could not divulge details, saying it could prejudice the investigation.

“We have arrested some of the people responsible for the theft. We are carrying on investigations,” Kwesiga said.

The money was last week allegedly stolen from the cash office at Okello House, leading to the suspension of two cashiers, who were on duty at the time of the theft.

Ten suspects in State House theft nabbed in Rukungiri

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