Kampala- Cases of armed robbery, car theft and fraud are still rampant in the country a new report by the Flying Squad Unit (FSU) has revealed.
A six-month report signed by the outgoing FSU commandant, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Peter Kakonge, shows that 21 high calibre guns, including submachine guns (SMGs), semi-automated rifles and pistols were recovered between July 1 and December 30, 2018.
“The recoveries include 15 SMGs, three SARs, three toy guns and two pistols, 181 SMG bullets, 27 pistol bullets and 15 SAR rounds of ammunition. Five SMGs and pistol magazines were recovered,” the report reads in part.
SP Vincent Ssekatte, the spokesperson for Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), said investigations into the source of the guns is ongoing.
“We are still investigating the sources of all these guns. We conducted operations and we recovered guns in hands of wrong elements. They were being used in criminal activities. We suspect these guns were sneaked into the country from our warring neighbours,” Mr Ssekatte said.
FSU shows that the guns were used to rob 76 cars, 36 motorcycles, cattle, construction materials and money worth Shs468m.
Police said cars were majorly robbed from night parking areas with connivance of security guards, while money was stolen from mobile money attendants in addition to waylaying vehicles suspected to be carrying huge amounts of money.
“Car robbers are widespread and have connections with security guards at parking lots and washing bays. Security guards are paid Shs500,000 or Shs1m and that money is too little for someone stealing a car worth Shs30m. Guards abandon night parkings once they are paid,” Mr Ssekatte said.
FSU report further reveals that 157 operations were conducted in six months leading to the arrest of 380 suspects of which 265 were from Kampala Metropolitan area covering Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts.
Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) doubling as FSU headquarters, registered the highest number of suspects at 225 and recorded the biggest number of recoveries such as guns, cars, money and motorcycles.
CPS registered 57 vehicle exhibits, 10 motorcycles, Shs281m, 319 radio receivers, 30 bluetooth speakers, 43 phones, 40 pieces of wrapped papers containing cocaine, three photocopies of land titles and four TV sets.
Greater Masaka region particularly Rakai District followed Kampala recording three SMGs exhibits, two pistols, 50 bullets, 24 TV screens, Shs1m and 38 car number plates.
“Kiira region [Jinja] registered four SMG exhibits, 180 SMG bullets, one pistol and three motor vehicles. Aswa region [Gulu] recovered 15 drums of Bitumen road construction materials, two SMGs, 100kg of ivory and two motorcycles,” reads the report.
Mr Ssekatte said vehicles were recovered because owners had installed tracking devices while other victims were fast at alerting police.
He said car robbers have developed new tricks to steal cars such as placing objects on cars to test whether they are protected with tracking systems.
“Robbers place pets like a cat on cars to test whether they have tracking devices. The vehicle makes constant noise until the owner decides to disable the tracking during the night. We have intensified our efforts on cracking down car robbers but we also ask drivers to protect their cars by installing tracking devices and avoid parking at ungazzetted places,” Mr Ssekatte said.