Police have arrested a man identified as Aziz Ssempala said to be the leader of a gang that has been staging illegal checkpoints in various villages of Mukono district before robbing travelers and extorting money from boda boda riders.
Ssempala who was wearing a Local Defence Unit uniform had staged an illegal checkpoint near Kyawambogo trading centre in Nakisunga sub county, stopping and extorting money from motorcycle riders when information leaked to police.
A joint team of UPDF and Police led by Hawah Namukome, the Officer in Charge (OC) of Kyetume Police post stormed the illegal checkpoint and arrested the suspect.
The force preceded to search the apartment Ssempala had rented at Namuyenje trading centre in Nakisunga sub county and landed on military attire and rounds of ammunition hidden in his room.
Ssempala had staged the checkpoint with two other unidentified men in plain clothes who managed to escape. However, according to security officers, it is believed he has a gang of over ten people that assist him to stage illegal checkpoints during day and night hours. He is currently detained at Mpoma barracks.
Hakim Mulyowa, a resident at Kyetume trading centre but with a garden at Namuyenje, says he was surprised to see the said ‘officers’ extorting money from people riding motorcycles and carrying food stuff, which prompted them to report to police.
President Yoweri Museveni authorised motorcycles carrying cargo to move before 5.00pm, and also to carry patients.
“One gangster has been putting on reserve force uniform and there were two others in plain clothes carrying sticks in shape of police batons,” Mulyowa says.
“They have been stopping whichever motorcycle uses that route.”
The Officer in Charge of Mukono Police Division, Ismael Kifudde, notes that the operation is still on to apprehend Ssempala’s other accomplices and a detailed report will be issued later.
Kifudde also warns people who are still insisting on travelling to various places that they are risking their lives to covid and to such criminals. He also warns that police will not hesitate to arrest people flouting the 42-day covid containment measures.