Youth Kidnaps Self to Extort Money from Family

At about midday, Bbale\'s phone number called Mr Ssemuga the elder brother who is a resident of Katwe, a Kampala suburb but the person on the other side of the phone was not his young brother and neither did he sound friendly.

Audio 2

It is Saturday morning at 7:30am, June 20th 2015 when 22 year old Godfrey Bbale wakes up and goes through his routine before heading off to work at the poultry farm near his brother Felix Bbale\'s home in Mukono district where he has been staying since he came from the village.

Before setting off for work, he bids his brother farewell as usual. That evening, though, Godfrey does not return home as he has done for the last two years he has lived in Mukono. 

Then, according to Godfrey\'s older brother Moses Ssemuga, an unknown person calls using their little brother\'s phone. Ssemuga ignores the call and only gets apprehensive when he learns the next day Godfrey never showed up for work at the poultry farm.

Ssemuga soon receives another call from Godfrey\'s number. A rude, unknown person is using Godfrey\'s number. Ssemuga is a resident of Katwe.

Soon again an unknown person calls the three brothers\' elderly father Muzeei Banalya a resident of Butambala, Mpigi district.

During both calls, in a voice that sounds altered, a demand for five million shillings is made before Godfrey Bbale can be released and allowed to return home. 

For the family, the call is traumatising as in 2014 they lost a daughter Joan Namazzi. She was reportedly kidnapped and killed.

Herbert Muhangi the deputy commandant flying squad says, a case of kidnap and extortion was filed at Katwe police station on Monday and later handed over to the unit with orders to have the kidnapped man rescued.

A team was constituted immediately to track down the number and try rescue the 22year old.

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In a two hours interrogation of Bbale and his friend, Muhammad Mukobe confessed to having planned the entire fake kidnap.

In the confession statement recorded by the alleged victim, Bbale says he needed money to start a business of his own thus contacting his friend to help him implement the plan he had.

This however is not an isolated case with more than three people arrested in the last one month for faking kidnaps and blackmailing relatives and friends as well as bosses.

Two of the cases have been in Mukono district.

//cue in …. “people pretend

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All the suspects are currently in detention on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, attempt to extort and giving false information.

Uganda has had isolated cases of kidnap for ransom with majority of kidnap cases being kidnap leading to murder.