Uganda: Security Arrests Armed Robbery Gang Dressed in Military Uniform

The North Kyoga Regional Police spokesperson, Mr Michael Odongo, revealed on Friday that security forces in Lira District on Thursday night arrested an armed robbery gang dressed in military uniform.

The suspects, he said, had allegedly taken the advantage of the 14-day-curfew announced by the President on March 31 to stage illegal roadblocks, where they could beat up and rob unsuspecting victims.

The curfew that commenced on April 1 (7pm-6:30am) aims at containing further spread of the deadly coronavirus.

"As we talk now, we have arrested five people. On Wednesday, we arrested two and on Thursday night, we arrested three, including a UPDF officer," Mr Odongo, told journalists.

Police said among those apprehended include; a 30-year-old UPDF Private - a medical officer attached to Lira Army Barracks, and a 34-year-old businessman.

The suspects now detained at Lira Central Police Station were in possession of either army or police uniform. They had allegedly been staging illegal roadblocks at Uhuru bar in Central Division, Te-kulu and Jinja camp in Ojwina Division, Lira Municipality, where they would stop locals, beat them up before grabbing money from them.

"We have seen that there are some people who are taking advantage of the curfew and they are also putting up roadblocks camouflaging in either police or army uniform and robbing people," Mr Odongo noted.

"In most of these cases, you find that people go and operate single-handedly at dark corners and they manage to stop people and get money from them," he added.

Mr Emmanuel Ebong Opeto, the LC3 chairman of Ojwina Division, said the illegal roadblocks are always staged at dark corners where locals are stopped and robbed of their valuables.

"They are carrying out a parallel patrol to that of the real security. They wait when the army and police pass and use the opportunity to move into people's houses and rob them," he told Daily Monitor.

Security, however, called for calm among the population, assuring them that they will get to the bottom of the issue.

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