13 February 2011

Uganda: Police Recover Part of Stolen Sh800 Million

Operatives investigating the sh800m stolen by private security guards attached to G4S have recovered sh13m. The money was buried in a pineapple garden in Molo village, Tororo district.

The recovery of the sum, just a day after the theft, brought the total sum of cash recovered by Friday to over sh130m.

The sh13m, sources said, was recovered after operatives from the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) arrested a driver of the security chase car that was escorting the bullion van at the time of the theft.

The driver led the operatives to the spot where he had buried his 'share'. The driver was reportedly picked from an outlet of one of the telecommunication firms in Mbale town.

"We are pursuing very useful clues and the rest is just a matter of time," a source said. The driver, who claims that he was placed at gunpoint, was nabbed after he abandoned the chase car near Mbale stadium.

The money, belonging to Stanbic Bank, was being transported in a bullion van from Mbale to Moroto and not Nakapiripirit district as earlier reported, when the G4S guards disappeared with it, abandoning the van in the eastern district of Bulambuli.

In a statement issued on Thursday, G4S said significant progress had been made in the investigation working in collaboration with the Police.

"Already, a number of suspects are in Police custody helping with investigations. Some of the money has been recovered and we expect to recover more in due course," a statement signed by the G4S country manager Tony Maleche read.

He, however, did not divulge details on the arrest, saying it was a sensitive matter.

Maleche expressed optimism that the investigations would yield fruit.

"We are confident that with the thorough investigations taking place, all the perpetrators of this crime will be arrested soon and brought to book," he said.

Sources yesterday said up to six suspects are presently being held in connection with the theft.

This is not the first time that money stolen from a bullion van is recovered from gardens and other awkward places.

In 2005, following a similar theft, a pork roaster who received sh50m led the Police to a thick bush where he had kept the money in an eagle's nest on top of a big tree.

Some other cash was recovered buried under anthills, wrapped in polythene bags.

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