Uganda: Police Warn of Increase in Criminal Gangs

The police have warned of an increase in criminal gangs armed with machetes and travelling on motorcycles before attacking people on the road in broad daylight and in homes at night.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said gangs are growing bigger, many carrying out burglary and theft, but the police are pursuing them and several have been arrested.

"We used to see two riders or four riders. Now we are seeing an increase of gangs descending on their victims," Mr Enanga said yesterday.

The warning follows incidents where gangs using motorcycles have attacked people carrying money or valuables on the road.

On Saturday, a 14-member gang attacked an Indian riding a motorcycle and beat him up before they made off with his bag that contained Shs5m and two mobile phones on Mawanda Road in Kampala City at midday.

Another gang attacked Chief Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu on Mbogo Road in broad daylight a fortnight ago.

Mr Enanga said gangs with each having more than 10 people and armed with machetes have been raiding homes in the city suburbs.

He said three sets of gangs were dismantled and ringleaders have been arrested in areas of Katwe, Makindye Division last week.

Police identified two gangs that have reportedly carried out robberies in areas of Kisegula, Zzana and Bunamwaya on Entebbe Road.

"They targeted homes in groups of 10. We arrested Kavuma who led us to several homes in which they used to rob. We have also recovered several properties that were stolen in those homes," he said.

Two weeks ago, a gang raided a home of a Chinese national in Bunamwaya, Makindye Ssabagabo in Wakiso District and stole Shs217m.

The attack on investors has worried the business class.

Mr Enanga said the Directorate of Crime Intelligence is investigating the gangs, adding that they will dismantle all of them.

"We arrested one person who attacked Chief Magistrate Kamasanyu. We are hunting others," he said.

In March, four thugs attacked Kannankutty Krisnamaham and robbed him Euro 100,000 near Kitgum House junction on Jinja Road in broad daylight.

Many other attack incidents have even been captured by the police CCTV cameras.

The criminals trail their victims and then beat them up until they are unconscious before fleeing with bags containing large sums of money.

Robbery

Last year, thugs riding motorcycles trailed Ahmed Hassan, an assistant manager of Amal Forex Bureau, and Ismael Mohammad, the cashier of Amal Forex, from DTB Bank Equatorial Mall branch where they had withdrawn Shs380m. The suspects jumped off their motorcycles and surrounded the victims before robbing them of the money. The suspects disappeared and they haven't been arrested since.

The criminals had also started attacking bank clients, who withdrew petty cash of less than Shs5m.

In 2019, when gangs attacked factories, President Museveni deployed Local Defence Unit personnel to protect the business class.

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