KAMPALA: The Police Crime Intelligence Unit is hunting for a group of thugs who are targeting foreign businessmen and officials in various parts of Kampala.
The group, mostly youths aged between 17 and 25, allegedly has bases in Kinyoro, Buligwanga, Kisenyi-Mengo, and the slums of Katwe, from where they spend the day in training for their night operations.
Charles Twine, the spokesperson of the Criminal Investigations Directorate, said that the group has masterminded several robberies, mostly in the areas of Kabalagala and Muyenga. The suburbs host a number of expatriates and Eritrean refugees.
In one of the incidents, the group reportedly robbed an official from Austria who had visited Uganda to provide expert service to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions. She was attacked along Kironde Road in Muyenga on January 25 by men who were riding a motorcycle with registration number UED192N.
According to the police, the group erected a roadblock in the middle of the road, forcing the expatriate to stop, and within a minute, about five thugs pounced on her, taking all her belongings, including a laptop, a bag containing a mobile phone, and an unspecified amount of money.
The victim was reportedly left unconscious and was rushed to International Hospital Kampala-IHK by the night patrols, but due to her deteriorating health condition, she was forced to be taken abroad for further treatment.
Another case registered over the weekend involved two Kampala-based Sudanese nationals who were attacked over the weekend. The two were also beaten before being robbed of about 50 million schillings that they had just withdrawn from the bank.
Twine says police have identified the gang leader as Robert Nseke, alias Toroba, who is said to be in charge of trailing the victims before they are waylaid.
On condition of anonymity, a police officer at Kabalagala said they have been tracking the same group for some time, but their attempts haven’t yielded.
They keep changing the number plates after robberies to avoid being traced. They target pedestrians, mostly Chinese and Indians, whom they trail from banks, or the Forex Bureau, in Kampala to their areas of residence and then attack them. A police officer said, ”
A number of criminal gangs have operated in various parts of Kampala and its neighbourhoods. They include, among others, the famous Kifeesi, who operated in Kampala and Mukono, Bad Life, B13, XOI, Happy Street, and Naguru Arrow Boys.