The Police has arrested sixteen suspected members of criminal gangs, who have been terrorizing residents in the Kampala City suburbs of Makerere-Kikoni and Kasubi.
The suspects were picked in an intelligence-led operation conducted by joint Wandegeya and Old Kampala Police Divisions in Makerere-Kikoni and Kasubi areas last night, following numerous reports of night attacks on the residents by machete-wielding thugs.
Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire has identified the suspects as; Isaac Nuwabimanya, Arafat Lule, Shafic Mukiibi, Ali Ssewanyana, Saidi Senzekayo, George Selwanga, Suleiman Aziz and Ronald Sebyuma.
Others include; Juma Mulumba, Shadrack Ssenyondo, Joseph Kabanda, Daniel Othieno, Bashir Kimera alias Basmati, Shari Nabukenya, Kezia and Bahati Mimi. The suspects detained at Central Police in Kampala are will be aligned before courts of laws on different charges including aggravated robbery among others.
Owoyesigyire said 10 of the suspects were found with rudimentary weapons in Makerere- kikoni , like pangas, iron bars, knives, while others in Kasubi were found in possession of narcotic drugs especially Marijuana. He said most of their attacks have been targeting people going home in evening curfew and night home raids.
About 20 similar incidents were registered at Wandegeya police, Makerere-Kikoni and Kasubi police posts. “They target those people in traffic, on motorcycles, pedestrians and carry out house break-ins. These operations will continue, so that we can continue dismantling organized criminal gang groups," said Owoyesigyire.
In one case reported at Wandegeya police station over the weekend, one person only identified as Enock was killed by the same suspected gang group.
“We registered that incident in Kasubi areas where that person was hit with a hammer on the head at about 6:00 pm and he died. They are very ruthless people," said police officer who participated in the operation said.
Owoyesigyire calls on the residents that have evidence to present them to Police that can strengthen the evidence against these suspects before being presented in courts of laws.
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Street robberies and house break-ins in Kampala metropolitan areas have increased in recent months according to the Police. Most of the cases have been reported in the areas of Lungujja, Kasubi, Namungoona, Mengo Kisenyi, and Nansana and Makerere Kikoni where criminals reportedly attack victims in large groups and beat them before varnishing with all their belongings.
According to the annual crime report 2020 compiled by the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate-CID, 10,113 cases of housebreaking were reported compared to 12,919 cases that were registered in 2019.