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Police tips mobile money agents on safety

Rwenzori West police spokesperson Vincent Twesige. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police in Rwenzori sub-region has urged mobile money agents to consider a number of safety measures to avoid being attacked by robbers who have at times killed them.

During a press conference on Friday, the Rwenzori West police spokesperson Vincent Twesige explained that most of the attacks on mobile money agents are executed at night and this can be reduced if the agents can start leaving work early.

He added that agents should stop allowing withdraws of millions of money by customers at night, saying they have information that some robbers ask to withdraw huge sums of money to see if the agent has it before they can launch their attack.

Twesige also said that even though police is working tirelessly to fight the crime, mobile money dealers should consider burglar proofing for their shops and stop moving with hard cash on them.

Twesige’s tips come after armed robbers killed two people and severely injured others in a space of two weeks in Rwenzori as they robbed mobile money agents.

The most recent case was on Wednesday at around 9:30 pm in Fort Portal Tourism City when armed robbers shot dead a mobile money agent, Ryan Kaahwa from his shop in Futi Butangwa cell, Butebe Ward in North Division.

The incident happened when two men claiming to be customers approached the deceased and requested to withdraw Shillings 1.2 million. According to preliminary police findings, the gunmen shot Kaahwa in the shoulder and he fell down as he started initiating the withdrawal.

On Saturday, unknown gunmen also killed one person and injured two others critically in Kibiito sub county, Bunyangabu district as they robbed a mobile money agent.

Three armed robbers attacked Robert Nyakaana, a mobile money agent and started beating him demanding money. They shot him in the leg before they made off with Shillings 300,000 and mobile phones worth Shillings 3.5 million.

The regional police spokesperson said the cases of robbing mobile money agents by gunmen in Rwenzori sub-region have increased to four in two months. Without giving details, Twesige says one had been reported from Kyenjojo district and another from Kitagwenda though no one was injured in those cases.

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