By Hanning Mbabazi
Kampala: Shock engulfed business men in Kampala on Monday evening November 11, 2019 as Police and sister Security operatives raided and arrested scrap dealers suspected of selling copper wires stolen from electrical installations and masts across the Country.
Spy Uganda learnt that security officers from the Field Force Police, Crime Intelligence and Criminal Investigations Directorate raided shops at Shamba Complex, Kisenyi, Owino Complex, New Park Mall, Nakitende Village, Usafi Market, Mwanga II Road, Musajja Alumbwa and Muzaana Road.
According to Fred Enganga the Uganda Police mouthpiece, the raid operation came after complaints of increased cases of vandalism from Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL), Uganda Telecomm Company (UTL), National Water and Sewage Cooperation (NWSC), Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and contractors at Karuma hydro-power dam.
Enanga added that Police targeted particular areas based on intelligence indicating that they harbor people involved in the vandalism and confirmed that over thirty (30) scrap dealers suspected to be selling stolen copper wires were arrested.
“These are some of the places where our intelligence picked information that they were aiding these suspects who were involved in vandalizing electric wires, copper wires, pylons and so on,” Enanga said.
Police however, promised to screen the suspects, saying those without clear documentation of the merchandise recovered from their premises will be taken to courts of law.
Police believes arresting the dealers will disorganize the cartel behind the vandalism since there will be no substantive market for the stolen materials. Some of the suspects, according to UETCL siphon fuel from transformers at substations thus making people spend hours without power.
This operation comes a fortnight after Uganda People’s Defense Force –UPDF, Military Police, CI, CID and FFU conducted an operation targeting dealers of suspected stolen motorcycles, motor vehicles and phones. At least 350 people were arrested.
However, only 208 remained after screening. More than 140 motorcycles, 2500 phones and were confiscated from dealers, some of whom have already appeared in court.