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US tourist kidnap: Number of suspects rises to nine

FILE PHOTO: Kimbley Sue Endicott kidnapped tourist.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The number of suspects arrested in connection to the kidnap of American tourist, Kimbley Sue Endicott has risen to nine.  Police picked up eight other suspects on Tuesday from Kihihi Town council in Kanungu district.

Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga confirmed the arrest of more suspects but declined to reveal their identities, saying they will issue a detailed statement.

Our reporter has since established the identities of some of the suspects in police custody. They include Adam Imaniraguha, the Proprietor of Kinkiizi Financial Services that trades in Foreign Currency, Yoweri Mugabo and Gad Mbonyebyombi.

According to sources, Imaniraguha was picked from his work place together with his wife who names weren’t readily available. The source says a joint team comprising of military and police officers later stormed Kinkiizi Financial Services and picked up three employees and drove them to unknown location.

According to the source, police believes that Imaniraguha has some knowledge on Kimbley’s kidnap since she exchanged USD 8000 at his Forex bureau before heading to the national park. Four armed men kidnapped Kimbley and her Ugandan tour guide, Jean Paul Mirenge Remezo while on their safari vehicle from Queen Elizabeth National Park on April 9th, 2018.

They later demanded a ransom of USD 500,000 using their victims’ cell phones. The gunmen released their victims on Monday after reportedly received a negotiated sum of USD 30,000 (about UGX 37.5 million) out of USD 500,000 they had earlier demanded.

But Enanga said the duo was rescued from the Democratic Republic of Congo by a combined team of Uganda Police Force, Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF and sister security agencies.  The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola handed over Kimbley to the US Embassy in Kampala on Monday afternoon.

US President Donald Trump tasked Uganda government to arrest the kidnappers before people can feel safe to come to Uganda. The other suspects picked up earlier on are Denis Kyarisiima alias Boxer and Hakim Tumwebaze.

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