14 February 2018

Uganda: Police Refutes Reports of ACP Bakaleke's Arrest

Police has dismissed media reports that the regional police commander for KMP South, ACP Siraj Bakaleke has been arrested by the force's Professional Standards Unit (PSU).

This morning, social media was awash with stories that the officer was arrested by PSU on allegations of obtaining $400,000 from three Korean investors in connivance with a city lawyer Paul Wanyoto.

More than five senior officers including Bakaleke have been implicated as having obtained the money at gunpoint from the South Koreans who claim they had gone to meet probable gold dealers. The South Koreans were reportedly detained by the police officers and attempts were made to deport them using Emirates and Rwanda Air planes.

Social media reports further indicated that Bakaleke was detained at Railway police in Kampala while other suspects are at Nalufenya in Jinja.

"It is indicated that on February 5, Bakaleke received a call from Wanyoto and tipped him that he had investors with large sums of money. So, they could meet [with Wanyoto] and discuss on how to defraud them," said the reports.

Police spokesman Emilian Kayima has instead dismissed the allegations of his arrest as "false and fake news."

"Please discard the rumuor of the alleged arrest and detention of ACP Bakaleke. It's false and amounts to fake news. The officer is at his place of work going about his duties in the region," Kayima said.

While he did not delve much into the matter, Kayima agreed that there is an investigation involving foreign nationals whose identity he did not disclose and the conduct of some of police officers.

"Details [of the investigation] will be given as and when their time comes. We have to protect this investigation without any over ups," he said.

Asked how many officers are involved in the inquiry, Kayima said: "At the appropriate time, you will know." Efforts to reach Bakaleke remained futile as his known contact number is currently switched off. However, PSU spokesman Vincent Sekate told The Observer that:

"It is not true that we arrested ACP Bakaleke. It is, however, true that he [Bakaleke] reported to PSU yesterday and made a statement," Sekate said.

"We received complaints from some South Koreans implicating our officers and ACP Bakaleke. For now, just know that we are still investigating the matter but he is not under arrest."

He further explained that other police officers involved in the case were arrested by the Police Flying Squad at Entebbe airport.


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