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25 Ugandans on Interpol Red Notice

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Charles Birungi, the Acting director Uganda National Central Bureau commonly known as Interpol – Uganda told Uganda Radio Network (URN) in an exclusive interview that 25 persons are currently on the list of wanted persons.
Interpol Acting director Charles Birungi

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The Police has said at least 25 Ugandans are on the red list of International Criminal Police Organization –Interpol for committing transnational crimes.

Charles Birungi, the Acting director Uganda National Central Bureau commonly known as Interpol – Uganda told Uganda Radio Network (URN) in an exclusive interview that 25 persons are currently on the list of wanted persons.

Birungi said the suspects have their images shared to all the 190 Interpol member countries meaning they can be arrested at any time their images and person data is detected by security systems of various countries.

A person becomes wanted when he commits a crime in his mother country or in another country but afterwards goes into hiding. In order to appear on the Interpol red notice, it is the country in which the crime was committed that takes the initiative to inform all member states.

After a notification is generated, it is accompanied with particulars of the crime the person is alleged to have committed as well as his individual data that comprises of age, skin colour, height, body features and travel history.

Birungi explains that first it is the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) or Directorate of Public Prosecution [DPP] to open or sanction a case file against the accused person. Afterwards, DPP or CID informs Interpol in order to obtain an international warrant of arrest.

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Although Birungi does not disclose particulars of crimes the wanted persons allegedly committed, URN understands that a number of them are suspected to have participated in the killings of prominent Muslim clerics, businessmen, state prosecutor and security chiefs.

In the last six years, more than a dozen prominent Muslim clerics such as Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, Sheikh Abdul Khadir Muwaya, Sheikh Hassan Kirya were gunned down by men moving on motorcycles.

Although some suspects in some of the killings were arrested and charged, in many other cases no suspect has been arrested or convicted. Cases that have no suspects include the murder of state prosecutor, Joan Kagezi, murder of then Arua Municipality MP Ttd Col Ibrahim Abiriga.

Other security chiefs who have been killed by shooting in the last six years include, Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, former Buyende district police commander, Muhammad Kirumira and Maj Muhammad Kiggundu.

“Some of these wanted persons have repeatedly involved themselves in cyber crimes. They have hacked telecoms, banks and ministries. They have been doing the same vices for more four years but bringing them back here has been a problem” a police source said.

The biggest cybercrime of 2020 was the unauthorised access, electronic fraud and theft of approximately 11 billion shillings from Pegasus Technologies, Stanbic Bank, Bank of Africa, MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda which are still being investigated under case references CID headquarters E 329/2020, E 332 /2020, E 330/2020, E 331/2020 and GEF 998/2020.

Birungi told Uganda Radio Network (URN) that the list of wanted persons is updated every five years and cannot be released now because some of those wanted might take advantage and change some of their travel documents or from their current locations. He adds that if the person on the wanted list is not arrested within five years, DPP or CID must write again expressing needed to keep the person on Interpol red notice.

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