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Police bust car robbery gang

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd July 2011 03:00 AM

THE Rapid Response Unit of the Police has arrested 15 suspects, five of them said to be at the helm of the recent spate of motor vehicle and motorcycle robberies in the city and its suburbs.

THE Rapid Response Unit of the Police has arrested 15 suspects, five of them said to be at the helm of the recent spate of motor vehicle and motorcycle robberies in the city and its suburbs.

By Steven Candia, Celia Okoth and John Masaba

THE Rapid Response Unit of the Police has arrested 15 suspects, five of them said to be at the helm of the recent spate of motor vehicle and motorcycle robberies in the city and its suburbs.

The suspects were arrested in a country-wide operation, culminating in the recovery of, among others, two rifles, 28 bullets, five motorcycles and a vehicle.

The 15 also include a ring of four suspects arrested in connection with vehicle thefts. The suspects are said to dismantle the stolen cars and sell them as spare parts in the city.

According to the Police, the gang attacks their victims with hammers or iron bars, injuring and at times killing them.

The gang, the Police added, ran a highly intricate and well-coordinated web–complete with foot soldiers, to execute their missions, financiers–to fund their activities and fraudsters to forge essential documents, such as log books.

Speaking at the RRU headquarters in Kireka where the suspects are under detention, the Police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, said some of the gang members had past criminal records. She identified them as Richard Mujuni, George Kavuma and Meddi Mbazira.

According to security sources, Patrick Katongole and Abbey Magezi, were the brains behind the gang. Katongole allegedly did the forgeries, while Magezi always financed their missions. Nabakooba said the gang would steal or rob vehicles in the night in Kampala, Wakiso, Mpigi, Kyotera, Mityana, Mbarara, Rakai and Mbale districts and sell them in Uganda and Tanzania.

She said at the time of their arrest, the gangs had sold over eight vehicles and motorcycles in Tanzania, but could have stolen over 200 motorcycles in the last six years.

Police said the gang had murdered one of its victims, Charles Lwanga and took his Fuso truck, which was later sold in Tanzania. The gang, according to the Police, also robbed an omni bus, UAN 439Z, on July 19, after clobbering its driver with a hammer.

The Police also named Hadnan Lumansi, Baker Kasujja, Mohammed Muyomba and James Kato as the people who dismantle stolen vehicles to sell them as spare parts.

They were arrested for allegedly stealing an omni bus registration number UAJ 305K on July 19 and selling it as spare parts in Ndeeba, a city suburb.

Other suspects arrested in the week long operation include John Omoit, Ben Seruga alias Kojja, William Kumbuka, Wahab Weduga and Samuel Oremoki arrested in Mityana, Wakiso, Pakwach and Katakwi respectively.

In a related development, the Police are holding five Uganda Revenue Authority staff members suspected of helping to forge log books.

The head of the Rapid Response Unit, Joel Aguma, said many of the stolen cars are repainted, while others were smuggled and sold across the borders.

Police bust car robbery gang

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