Police in Kampala have arrested two groups of boda boda riders who trailed and robbed Chinese nationals of shs900 million in two separate incidents.
In the first incident on November, 2, Lee Chong, a Chinese national who travelling on a boda boda was surrounded by a group of four other boda bodas around Martin Road in Kampala and a bag containing shs200 million robbed from him.
The Chinese national who had a pistol later tried to defend himself by shooting at the assailants but he missed the target as they had already fled the scene.
Efforts by a nearby police officer to also shoot at the thugs proved futile as the bullets didn’t get anyone.
However, following the incident in which the suspects fled with the cash, an operation by the Police Flying Squad and operatives from the Crime Intelligence Directorate led to the arrest of three suspects from Bulenga in Wakiso district and Fort Portal in eastern Uganda.
“Our teams successfully tracked and arrested three suspects from Bulenga and Fort Portal. Five motorcycles were recovered. Two of the motorcycles had been used in the robbery whereas three had been bought using the robbed money. Also shs5 million was recovered as investigations continue to arrest all suspects and recover the balance of the money,” Hadija Namutebi, the Police’s Chief Political Commissar said.
In a second incident, a group of boda boda riders targeted Hei Wei,a Chinese national who was moving with $190,000 (about Shs 718 million) on a boda boda was surrounded by boda bodas along Ssezibwa road in Nakasero near Fang Fang restaurant.
According to Namutebi, the Chinese had hired a boda boda to take him from home but as the rode at around 1pm at Ssezibwa road, their motorcycle was intercepted by a group of other boda boda riders and the bag containing the cash robbed.
Police investigations have indicated that the boda boda rider who was chauffeuring was part of the gang and was on a surveillance mission.
“The victim had used the boda boda from his home in Kololo and it is suspected the same rider was on surveillance and tipped his gang,” Namutebi said.
However, police tracked and arrested one of the suspects in Kisenyi in Kampala and a search at his home led to recover of $3300 and shs1.9 million in cash as the hunt for his accomplices continue.
“We appeal to the business community, especially foreign nationals to desist from transporting large sums of money on themselves. They should seek for professional escorts or escorts from police and should ensure the time they are carrying the money is safe and secure to avoid similar incidents,” Namutebi said.
The two incidents show an increase in robberies targeting Chinese nationals moving with huge sums of money.
This wave of crime had previously been nipped in the bud by Crime Intelligence and several suspects arrested but the latest incidents show resumption of the same.
In many of these incidents, it is the work of an inside job where workers of these Chinese nationals tips their colleagues who follow them on boda bodas and rob them.
In other cases, the boda bodas used to transport these huge sums of money are part of the deal.