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Three UPDF deserters arrested over Mobile money robberies

FILE PHOTO: Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF deserters have been arrested in connection to robberies targeting mobile money operators in the city.  The trio was picked up in a joint operation involving UPDF and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

The suspects are Stanley Muluta alias Frank Jjumba, Emma Onen Ochan and Denis Mwanguhya. Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, says the suspects were picked up in an operation that started on Tuesday in Masanafu in Lubaga Division where two guns were also recovered.

He says Stanley Muluta was arrested in Masanafu where a Police Constable was shot by Richard Kasirye who is still at large. According to Enanga, during interrogations Muluta named Onen, Mwanguhya and other suspects still at large as his accomplices.

Ballistic examination of cartridges recovered from the scenes of six mobile money robberies pin Muluta, Onen and Mwanguhya. The three guns recovered from the suspects are the ones whose cell casings were found at the robbery scenes.

Muluta was released from Luzira Prison in April this year after serving a 3-year jail terms for robbing a forex bureau in 2015. According to investigations, Muluta reunited with Mwanguhya and Onen shortly after his release from prison.

The trio’s first assignment was the robbery of a Toyota Harrier registration number UBA 874W, mobile phones and money in Masaka on May 4, which they sold in South Sudan.

On May 14, the group robbed a couple in Natete Church Zone that was returning from a mobile money shop at around 10: 45pm. They fired random bullets, which killed Rafael Walugembe., a student of Nkozi University.

On May 17, the suspects allegedly robbed Shillings16M from Nalukwago Sanyu, a mobile money operator whom they trailed from Natete up to Kitende Cell A zone along Entebbe Road.

Investigations have revealed that the trio robbed Nalukwago at gun point and sped off in a Toyota Wish registration number UBE 481A, which had previously been cited in a robbery in Natete.

Police say they are still studying the evidence and cartridges recovered from robbery scenes in Mpererwe, Nansana and Mbale to establish whether the trio and their accomplices were behind the attacks.  The robbery at Cheap General Hardware in Nansana on May 29th left three workers dead and Shs385M stolen.

In Mbale, a Police Constable was shot in a gunfire exchange with thugs. “It took dedicated crime intelligence. This has been a successful operation. This is a gang that has been using three motorcycles and a search for other suspects continues,” Enanga said.

Armed thugs moving on three motorcycles have so far killed three people in mobile money robberies. The victims include Harriet Nalwadda, who was killed alongside her worker, Moreen Nakabuubi on Monday June 10th in Zzana along Entebbe Road.

Police have preferred three counts of the murder of Nalwadda, Nakabubi and Walugembe and two attempted murder against the suspects. The suspects will also be charged with illegal possession of firearms. Details so far gathered indicate that Muluta shot a UPDF Lieutenant before he deserted the army.

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