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Flying squad apprehends five suspected highway robbers

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Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Five suspected highway robbers who have been targeting goods in transit and trailing traders have been arrested in an operation by the Flying Squad Unit.

The two-month hunt for the thugs who had attacked more than 10 traders and hijacked several vehicles transporting goods was carried out in the Busoga region.

According to Flying Squad, the robbers include a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier Swaib Mutegura who was providing army camouflage used in the robbery.

Others are Hassan Mulangura aka Gowa, Abbas Lukoma Lusuri, Martin Kumbuga and Fatuma Hamis.

“Fatuma is a wife to Sadat Gowa who we are still pursuing. So far we have four men including a UPDF soldier and one female. We are hunting for Gowa Sadat so that he can join his colleagues,” Flying Squad operatives said in the report.

Mulangura told security that they have been using three vehicles to conduct their robbery which include Mark X 298T white in colour, Mark X UBJ 879T grey in colour and Mark II UBB 716T white in colour.

“We were using military uniforms to trail and block trailers and trucks carrying goods and we often monitored traders returning from selling their merchandise or those going to purchase goods for their businesses,” Kumbuga reported.

According to the suspect, most of the traders and trucks transporting goods were targeted in Mayuge, Kamuli, Bugiri and Luuka. Some of the trucks were trailed coming from Busia border or Kampala heading to Busia.

They explained that they would waylay the vehicles or mount roadblocks while wearing army uniforms. They would sometimes kidnap the traders up to a point where they were sure that no one would save them. Some of the trucks were hijacked by their drivers while others were driven by themselves.

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Fred Enanga, the Police Spokesperson said the Inspector General of Police, Martin Ochola, has extoled Flying Squad and police in Busoga areas for coordinated operations that have led to the arrest of the suspects.

Between October and November last year, trucks of fuel were hijacked in Mayuge and driven to village routes where the petrol was offloaded. Flying Squad arrested three people and recovered the fuel of which about 10 per cent of the volume had already been sold on the black market.

Other thugs waylaid a Wish transporting gold worth two billion shillings. The vehicle was waylaid by thugs moving in a Toyota Hiace in Luwero district.

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URN

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