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Teenager kidnaps 5 year old, asks for UGX 12m ransom

Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A 17 year old boy has been arrested by the police and flying squad unit in Masaka for kidnapping a five-year-old boy and asking his family for a ransom of 12 million Shillings.

Andrew Bugembe, a top class pupil at Leos Junior Primary School-Nyendo, mysteriously disappeared from his parents’ home in Kayirikiti village in Nyendo-Mukungwe division on Wednesday. His parents Andrew Nyanzi and Jalia Naggayi reported the matter to the local authorities and the police, prompting a joint search.

But on Thursday, they received an anonymous call from a stranger, who threatened to kill their son and dump his body in a spot where it will be difficult to find the remains, if they did not honour his demand for 12 million Shillings.

The family had offered to pay the money in two instalments but the kidnapper insisted on getting all the money at once. On Friday, Nyanzi and Naggayi received another call, and this time the abductor wanted 30,000 Shillings as upkeep for the boy, a demand to which they agreed to and sent the money immediately but requested him to put the boy online to confirm if he was still alive.

In a brief talk, the boy said that he was with Joachim before the captor switched the phone off in fury. The name gave them a hint about a teenager who once worked at their poultry farm before he was relieved of his duties due to alleged theft.

At the time of his termination, the teen known to them as Joachim Tumwebaze was not pleased with his boss decision and vowed to retaliate in every possible way but the boy’s parents ignored the threats. With this information, they reinforced the search until Tumwebaze was spotted at a mobile money shop in Kisuuna village, where he had gone to withdraw the money that had been sent to him.

The Flying Squad detectives trailed Tumwebaze up to his residence where he was arrested and the boy was found and reunited with his parents.

According to Nyanzi, they were lucky that his son knew his kidnapper by name.

Twahiri Kiruuta, the Kisuuna LCI chairman explains that Tumwebaze had stolen a phone from an old woman to use for his ransom transactions and that he had lied to his mother that Bugembe was his friend’s son who went abroad and asked him to take care of the boy until he returns.

The Southern Regional Police Spokesperson Muhammad Nsubuga says Tumwebaze is now detained at Nyendo police station pending investigations into the matter. He adds that it was easy for Tumwebaze to lure the boy because he knew him.

He explains that he will be charged with kidnapping and produced in court when his file is ready.



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