By Ivan Mwine
The police in Wamala region have netted a gang of highway robber who have been disguising as security officers and staging fake roadblocks on various roads, which they use robbing unsuspecting motorists.
Their arrest was confirmed by the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) ASP Charles Twine, who revealed in a statement that the gang has been operating since December last year.
ASP Twiine’s statement reads thus;
“Police in Wamala region has busted a criminal syndicate that has violently been robbing, and terrorizing citizens majorly targeting motorists that deal in transportation of produce.
It is indicated that between Dec. 2021 to date, the region has witnessed a spate of various robberies along Mubende-Kampala Highway by some gang of criminals disguising to be either Police officers or Army officers on lawful duties.
Several robberies have been reported as hereunder;
A- Mityana CRB 054/2022 Reported as Aggravated Robbery.
It was on 23rd January 2022 at 01:00Am at Bamunanika village, along Mubende Kampala Highway, when a gang of thugs disguised in army uniform, armed with a toy gun, pangas, clubs, hammers, and using a fake Police stop check point sign post, stopped and robbed the occupants of motor vehicle Reg. Number UBG 709G Fusso that was loaded with 80 bags of maize grains that was destined for Kampala, cash Ugx.1, 200,000, and phone from all the occupants.
The driver, a one Lubega Richard and other 3 occupants were severely beaten to pulp, tied with ropes and dumped in a forest 2 km away from the scene.
The robbed truck was later found abandoned in Mukono with only 40 bags on it, after getting involved in a motor accident.
The scene of accident was visited by Mukono Traffic officers, who later revealed that the motor vehicle had been reported and blacklisted in the system as stolen from Mityana.
With the help of detectives from Mityana, the team discovered from the area members of public, that the track had sold some maize to one of the businessmen in the area, and went ahead to identify the store.
Police inevitably arrested the owner of the store, and discovered the maize, and on interrogation, the owner revealed the person who connected him to the sellers who were later identified as Ssemuwemba Ibrahim, aged 37 years, resident of Busega Rubaga Division in Kampala District, Lwassampijja Ignatius aged 29 years resident of Gombe village in Mityana Municipality, Hakim Davida ged 24 years an LC1 chairman of Mirembe Kaweesa village in Kasanda District, Ddamulira Emmanuel aged 30 years resident of Wabigalo in Mityana Municipality, Ssegayi Kimbowa Emmanuel aged 25 years a mechanic of Mizigo in Mityana District, Kayiira Ronald aged 32 years resident of Mirembe Kaweesa in Kasanda District.
All the above suspects were arrested, search conducted from their homes and several items of evidential value recovered from their respective areas of residence.
The suspects were also professionally paraded for identification, where most of them were positively identified by the victims.
The suspects confessed to multiple of robberies and further led the team of investigators for scene reconstruction, which were consistently done to validate their criminal acts.
The toy gun as well as clothes similar to Police and army uniform were got upon search in their premises where they claim they bought it from Owino Market.
The suspects who are pending charges of Aggravated Robbery also revealed their participation in other robberies as follows;
B- Mityana CRB 194/2022
The same gang on 8th March 2022 at the same point, using the similar method robbed a track Reg. number UBH 231E loaded with 95 bags maize.
Occupants namely Isabilye Alex, & Wako Christopher were tied stabbed severely and dumped behind the cabin, before they were driven off and dumped in the bush. The vehicle was later found the next day along Busunju Road where it had got involved in accident.
C-Mityana CRB 044/2022
The same gang on 20th Jan 2022 at the same point, using the similar method robbed a track Reg. Number UBK522S Canter loaded with 68 bags of maize grains.
The driver Njaana Muhereza David and his turn man Tumwesigye Kenneth were severely cut, left in comma, robbed of their phones, money and left helplessly at the scene.
The suspects were pursued by the Police patrol, and they abandoned the stolen motor vehicle at Butega along Mityana- Butambala Road with all the maize intact.
D- Mityana CRB 278/2022 Ssegayi Kimbowa Emmanuel disguising as a passenger, boarded a boda-boda ridden by a one Ssabwe Keneth to take him to Bamunika at around 10 Pm.
Upon reaching Bamunanika, Ssambwe was hit with a hammer and his Motorcycle Registration Number UFA 333B Bajaj boxer and cash 66,000 robbed and left unconscious. Kenneth is admitted in Mityana with hopes of recovering fully.
Motorists are advised to plan their journeys early and transport their produce preferably during day or early evening hours not to create an opportunity for the criminals that often target at night.
Businessmen are also cautioned not to buy the produce from persons that seem not to be known clients for they risk to be charged with relevant crimes.
Lodge owners and their managers are instructed to strictly profile all their clients and asked to report any person they suspect may be planning or already involved in any criminal act to the nearby police station.
Our profile indicates that most of the suspects had earlier been charged to Court, and either served and completed the sentence or have jumped Court Bail.
Police will therefore engage Court and meticulously reveal the character of these criminal gangs and the extent to which they are a danger to the society, and probably request for an expeditious hearing of their cases.”