suspect being questioned

Uganda Police Under Criticism As Ten Cops Steal Ugx146M From Robbery Suspects

By Davis Buyondo


The Uganda Police Force is under fire as ten of its officers have been accused of stealing UGX 146M (approximately $40,000) from robbery suspects. 

This incident has sparked widespread criticism and raised concerns about corruption within the police force.  

The allegations have also reignited calls for police reform in Uganda, where incidents of police misconduct have been a longstanding issue. 

The officers are said to have pocketed worth the said money from the suspects they had apprehended for stealing Ugx407m from a Burundian national. 

The incident occurred on April 27, 2023, in Makindye, a city suburb in Kampala but it was kept from the media until it leaked recently. 

The victim had just exited a Forex Bureau when three men on a motorcycle reportedly snatched a bag containing $110,000(Shs407m) and Euros700 (Shs2.9m) from him. 

The officers, who had been tasked with investigating the theft, failed to declare the full amount of money they recovered from the suspects they apprehended and instead kept over Ugx146 million for themselves.  

The incident has once again highlighted the problem of police misconduct and corruption in Uganda. According to reports, the ten police officers were taken into custody after being accused of robbing the said amount from suspected. 

The police officers were subsequently arrested and are currently in custody pending further investigation. This is not the first time that the Ugandan police force has been accused of corruption and misconduct.

The incident highlights the need for the government to address the issue of police corruption in the country. The Ugandan police force has previously been accused of taking bribes, arbitrary arrests, and excessive use of force, among other forms of misconduct.

The government must take concrete steps to address these issues and ensure that the police force is held accountable for their actions. After receiving a tip-off from bystanders, Crime Intelligence (CI) officers at Katwe Police Station took action.

According to an anonymous low-rank police officer who spoke to our reporter, the CI officers tracked down the suspects to Gangu, Masajja in Makindye Division.  

However, the officers did not inform their superiors about the operation or open a case file as per standard police case-handling procedures.

Money Recovered Upon apprehending the suspects and bringing them to Katwe Police Station, the officers were able to successfully recover the cash from the suspects’ residence, and it was found to be intact.

The case was then handed over to their counterparts in the Criminal Investigations Directorate. It is during the interrogation that the suspects claimed that the officers who arrested them had declared a smaller amount of money than what they had actually recovered from them.  

In an unexpected turn of events, the officers were subsequently arrested and detained for two days at Katwe Police Station and later released on bond. 

Due to the fact that the officers used guns during their operation to arrest the initial suspects and recover the cash, investigators pressed charges of aggravated robbery against them.

 Multiple sources with knowledge of the matter have confirmed that the officers were detained for 48 hours before being released as investigations to locate the missing money continue. 

Police Authorities  

According to local media reports,  Patrick Onyango, the spokesperson for the Kampala Metropolitan Police, says they are making every effort to recover all the stolen cash in order to return it to the rightful owner.  

Onyango further confirmed the officers’ arrest adding that had reported to the detectives that they had recovered $20,000 and Euro500, which was $90,000 and Euros200 less than the amount reported by the victim and the suspects.  

This website has also identified the disparities between the amount reported missing and the amount recovered. 

“As per standard procedure, a general inquiry file was opened to allow anyone with relevant information or evidence to provide clarification on the matter or potentially incriminate the accused,” Onyango says.  

Meanwhile, the three initial suspects were transferred to the Old Kampala Police Station as investigations continue. 

Similar incidents

In 2018, a group of individuals including Assistant Commissioner Siraje Bakaleke, Lawyer Paul Wanyoto Mugoya, and managing director of Eye Power Engineering Company Nabeta Samuel Mulowooza plus police officers including Robert Munezero, Innocent Nuwagaba, Robert Ray Asiimwe, Junior Amanya, Babu Gastavas and Kenneth Zirintuusa were charged with kidnapping, abuse of office, and conspiracy to defraud. 

They are accused of extorting Ugx1.4 billion (Approx. USD376,366) from two South Korean nationals who were in Uganda to look for gold. The South Koreans were arrested at Acacia Mall in Kampala while on their way to meet their lawyer, Paul Wanyoto. 

According to reports, the South Korean dealers were ambushed by security operatives at the Acacia Mall in Kampala, where they had arranged to meet their lawyer, Paul Wanyoto. 

The dealers were allegedly threatened at gunpoint and forced to surrender the said money they had in their possession.  After handing over the money, the two South Koreans were arrested and taken to Katwe Police Station, where they were detained.

They were then informed that they were being charged with terrorism and would be deported It was later revealed that ACP Bakaleke had authorized the security operation based on information provided by the lawyer, who had expressed suspicion that his clients were involved in illicit activities and might be financial terrorists. 

According to reports, the police officers used some of the extorted money to purchase two air tickets with Emirates, but they missed their flight, causing chaos among those planning to deport the South Koreans.

In a hurry, they bought new tickets with Rwanda Air, but were apprehended before the suspects could board the plane. While the suspects faced joint charges, Lawyer Paul Wanyoto Mugoya had additional accusations of embezzlement and obtaining money by fraudulent means. 


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