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Gunfire as police foil fuel station robbery

By Simon Masaba, Michael Odeng

Added 10th February 2017 08:11 AM

All victims were whisked away on a police patrol pick-up to Mulago National referral hospital where they are admitted.

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All victims were whisked away on a police patrol pick-up to Mulago National referral hospital where they are admitted.

KAMPALA - Three people, including a police officer, a fuel station worker and a suspected robber, are nursing bullet wounds they sustained during a foiled robbery at a gas-filling station (City Oil) in Kamwokya, a city suburb.

The incident happened on Thursday.

The police officer and fuel station employee were both shot in the abdomen while the suspected robber was shot in the left leg, as he attempted to elude police arrest.

All victims were whisked away on a police patrol pickup to Mulago national referral hospital where they are admitted. They remained under surveillance by police detectives.

This followed a daring move in which police arrested six suspected armed robbers during a botched robbery characterised by fierce exchange of gunfire between the assailants and security personnel.

Eye witness accounts

Charles Osire, a guard at the fuel station, said the robbers arrived at 2:00pm local time aboard a Toyota-Noah, which had no registration number plates.

He said the police had already camped in the area following intelligence information about the planned robbery.

“When they noticed police deployment, the robbers attempted to flee but police shot the car tyres,” said Osire.  “I moved towards the car and placed the driver at gunpoint and one of the occupants cocked his gun, but they were rounded up.”

Ramathan Mpiya, another security guard, told New Vision that the thugs who attempted to rob the fuel station had two days earlier (Tuesday) talked to one of the fuel station guards as they plotted the robbery.

“The robbers had earlier  surveyed the fuel station’s operations and spoke to Osire about their move and had also promised him sh5m for a successful mission,” Mpiya said.

“But Osire reported the matter (the same day) to management who notified police who in turn trailed the robbers as they laid a trap.

However, a one Eddie Bwambale, also a worker at the station, said the robbers had cash in the car, and opted to distribute it among themselves at the station before police pounced on them.

Police speaks out

The Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima said the suspected robbers targeted the fuel station and a bank (names withheld) within the area.

Police arrested six suspects and recovered four guns (two AK47s and two pistols) during the foiled robbery.

He identified the suspects as Douglas Kintu, 27, a resident Kyebando-Kisalosalo; Nicholas Oqwal, 45 and  Robert Okello 30, both residents of Mulimira zone-Bukoto; Francis Baguma, 35, a resident of Kawaala in Rubaga and Frank Lukwago, a special hire driver in the city centre.

All suspects are held over attempted robbery charges and are detained at the Central Police Station in Kampala.

According to Kayima, the suspects disguise under petty businesses within the city centre, which they use allegedly to trail and monitor victims’ huge cash before they pounce on them.

He encouraged the public to be vigilant and report suspicious people to the nearest police.

Following the gunfire exchange, crime officers cordoned off the area, lifted finger prints and reconstructed the crime scene.

According to the police crime report, cases of robberies (both aggravated and simple) increased by 0.6% from 3,620 cases in 2013 to 3,644 cases in 2014.

 

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