Police have arrested at least four suspects accused of attacking two Chinese investors on a road during daytime in two separate incidents.
Police say the suspects launched their assaults while travelling on motorcycles and armed with machetes, pangas, knives and heavy stones.
On Monday, Chief Political Commissar Hadijja Namutebi told journalists that the “Police Flying Squad is investigating the attacks on Chinese Investors by organized criminal gangs that operate within Kampala Metropolitan.”
Preliminary police investigations indicate that criminal gangs have attacked Chinese investors twice in November, robbing over Shs1b from the investors within two weeks.
The first incident was reported to police on November 2 at Martin Road in Old Kampala where a group of four alleged boda boda riders intercepted Chinese national Li Shuo [working with Top Chongo Company] and robbed him of Shs200million that he was carrying in a bag.
“Li Shuo, who was armed with a pistol, discharged five bullets but he missed the target. The first police officer who responded to the scene of crime also discharged one bullet, but the suspects fled with the money,” Namutebi said at a press briefing in Kampala on Monday.
She added: “A joint team of Flying Squad and Crime Intelligence successfully tracked down the suspects and arrested three from Bulenga and Fort Portal, five motorcycles and Shs5million were recovered from the suspects and investigations are still ongoing to recover the rest of the money.”
The second incident was confirmed on November 15 as Chinese Hei Wei, while at Ssezibwa Road near Fang Fang Hotel in Kampala, was robbed of Shs700million by a group of thugs riding on boda bodas.
Police findings show that the Chinese man used a boda boda from his home in Kololo- and it is suspected that the same rider was on surveillance and tipped the gang members.
According to police, the suspect arrested from Bulenga is a former convict of aggravated robbery who was released on November 8, 2023 after serving a 12-month sentence in Luzira prison.
In 2021, a similar wave of crime targeting apparent investors and other important people raised alarm in the country.
According to the annual police crime report 2022, a total of 6,854 cases of robberies were reported during the year compared to 5,275 cases reported in 2021. This reflected a 29.9 percent increase in the crime category.
The report indicated that cases of robberies where lethal weapons were not used were 4,338 cases while cases of aggravated robberies where lethal weapons like firearms and machetes were used were 2,516.
By the end of 2022, out of the total cases of robberies reported to police, 1,831 were taken to court, 224 were abandoned while 4,799 are still under inquiry.