Suspected crime gang boss held

Sunday October 20 2019

Luke Owoyesigyire, Kampala Metropolitan deputy

Luke Owoyesigyire, Kampala Metropolitan deputy spokesperson  

By TOM MALABA

Security personnel in Kampala have arrested a man alleged to be the leader of a criminal gang who works with some unscrupulous bank and forex bureau employees to steal millions of shillings from customers.
The suspect, identified only as Whisper, is the alleged leader of the Whisper gang.
He was reportedly arrested in a bar in Bujuuko on the Kampala-Mityana road three weeks ago by officers from the police’s Flying Squad Unit (FSU).
Whisper’s arrest comes about two months after he allegedly punched Mr Hassan Maalim, a Kenyan national and manager of Mid-West Forex Bureau and robbed him of Shs300m.
Mr Maalim was transporting the money in a car from DTB Bank on Kampala Road to Equity Bank near Arua Park when he was attacked by six men riding on motorcycles near Wilson Road on August 27.
It is alleged that during the robbery, Whisper punched Mr Maalim and he fell down before another member of the gang picked the bag containing the money and they fled.
Following the incident, police in Kampala arrested six people suspected to be working with Whisper.
However, the details of the other six suspected gang members are not known.
Kampala Metropolitan police deputy spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed Whisper’s arrest.
“He was a wanted man until he was arrested from Bujjuko by the FSU,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
Mr Owoyesigyire said Whisper operates alongside a gang of about 20 people, who rob people, mainly businessmen.
“Whisper’s role is to punch the victim and another person picks the bag containing money and runs away,” Mr Owoyesigyire said, adding that there were two reported incidents where Whisper robbed people of their money after punching them, but police failed to get evidence against him to warrant his prosecution.
In one incident, Mr Owoyesigyire said Whisper punched someone who was coming from a bank with money and they robbed him of Shs300m before fleeing the scene.
“The only evidence police had against him was that of assault and he was released. His gang does not use weapons such as knives or firearms but they steal money in millions of shillings,” the deputy police spokesperson said.
A Local Council II official in Nakivubo, Kampala, described Whisper as a notorious criminal who has been terrorising people in Kampala.
“He has been heading a gang of about 30 hard-core criminals, they move at particular times of the day and are not scared to steal from anybody on the streets,” the LC official, who preferred anonymity, said.
He said shop owners downtown use the term ekigaali to describe Whisper’s modus operandi.
“They move in a group of about 30 people and they rob anyone they find on the street. They snatch bags, necklaces, phone and anyone who tries to attack a member of the gang is beaten up,” the LC official added.
Whisper’s gang usually robs people along Namirembe Road, down to Qualicell Bus Terminal and stop at the intersection between Kyaggwe Road and Ben Kiwanuka Street.
A source in a security agency told Sunday Monitor that Whisper has been arrested by police on two occasions before.
“Sometime they wear black T-shirts and move on motorcycles to rob. They work closely with bank employees who alert them about customers who withdraw large sums of money,” the security source said.
By press time, it was not clear where Whisper was being held or when he would be produced in courts of law.

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