Security puzzled as UPDF & top police officers found abetting Kampala armed robberies

A joint security team has smashed a gang suspected to be linked to armed city robberies. Operatives from security agencies, including the Police on Tuesday carried out an operation at a rented apartment in Kinonya – Masanafu zone, Rubaga division and arrested three people, including a Police officer and a soldier.

The suspects under custody are Assistant Inspector of Police Geoffrey Igga, a soldier RA Sgt Muhammad Kalule and Stanley Muhindha. Both Igga and Kalule are described as being attached to Maj. Gen. Elly Kayanja’s “camp”, according to reliable security sources. Retired Maj. Gen. Kayanja was one of the National Resistance Army bush warfighters.

He served as director general of the Internal Security Organisation, and rose to prominence between 2000 and 2002, when he commanded the Operation Wembley, to eliminate hardcore criminal gangs in Kampala city. Sources said during the operation, operatives from Crime Intelligence, Flying Squad, Katwe, and Old Kampala Police, as well as other security agencies, recovered one rifle and a Star pistol with 15 bullets belonging to Sgt Kalule.

Also, seized from the residence was a Toyota Noah vehicle, that the suspects are thought to have been using to commit crimes. There was also a pair of number plates in the house. According to the sources, the raid was carried out to “smoke the suspected armed thugs out of their hiding place, in a well-fenced residence.”

Before the team entered the residence, one of the suspected thugs emerged from the gate while shooting at the operatives and injured one of them on the left leg. He fled with his rifle and was pursued by the operatives who managed to recover the rifle, with Bukedea gets first entries 10 bullets. Subsequently, another person, Muhindha was arrested from the house. He is reportedly a resident of Bukolooto in Kayunga district.

The Homicide department boss, Monday Johnson Agaba, identified the suspect who escaped as Richard Kasirye, a private in the Uganda People’s Defence Force and attached to Bombo barracks. In a statement issued following the raid, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said Mahindha and his colleague exchanged gunfire with Police officers during the raid on the home.

Onyango confirmed that a Police officer was injured on the leg, after sustaining a bullet wound. But he is reportedly out of danger. Explaining the operation, Onyango said as operatives combed the apartment, several items were recovered, among them a hammer and court documents(No.939/2016 criminal case No.03/2016).

The suspects were later transferred to the Special Investigations Division (SID) in Kireka. Onyango said “a big reward” awaits any member of the public with information that can lead to the arrest of Kasirye, who escaped.

Agaba said security suspect the gang has been behind some of the robberies in Kampala. It is suspected the gang was behind the robbery of sh150m from Bank of Africa in 2015. Agaba described the gang as “deadly” and that in some cases, it is allegedly hired to kill.

The gang members reportedly rent posh homes to disguise their criminal activities. In this particular case, they had paid rent for the house for six months, although they had only occupied it for a month before the Police crime intelligence operatives tracked them. The apartment reportedly belongs to a government official but is managed by Robert Kasujja. When they rented the house, Kasujja demanded their national identity cards before he could formalize their tenancy.