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Uganda: Police arrest woman over kidnap of niece

Kampala. Flying Squad Unit operatives have arrested a woman on allegations of hiring criminals to kidnap her five-year-old niece in a Shs300m ransom deal.

Hadia Nabakooza, 5, was kidnapped in Saza Central Division, Katwe-Butego in Masaka District by unknown men last Thursday, but was rescued in Busega, a Kampala suburb, after three days in captivity.

Superintendent of Police Vincent Ssekate, the Criminal Investigations Department spokesman, said the suspect wanted to use the kidnap for ransom to benefit from Shs400m her brother, Mr Baker Zisanga, had been paid after selling a plot of land.

“She has made an admission that she hired the kidnappers in Kampala to kidnap her niece. She said she wanted to get the money to re-establish her business. She said her brother, Mr Zisanga, led to the collapse of her business in Masaka Town and when he got money, he never helped her financially,” Mr Ssekatte said yesterday.

The suspect is being held on charges of kidnap and attempted murder.
Flying Squad Unit operatives are still hunting the kidnappers, who escaped with part of the ransom during the swap at Busega at around 8pm.

Mr Ssekate said there is hope the suspects will be arrested since they have good leads from the person who hired them.

According to Mr Ssekatte, the rescue operation started last Thursday after Nabakooza’s mother, Ms Grace Namakula, reported the kidnap case to police in Masaka.

According to Mr Ssekate, after Nabakooza’s kidnap, her abductors demanded Shs300m for ransom or they would kill the girl.

“The Flying Squad Unit officers tracked the suspects using our advanced telephone technology. It led them to a woman in Binyonyi B Zone in Ssenyange Masaka Municipality. She was arrested and we found later that she was an aunt to the kidnapped girl,” Mr Ssekatte said.

He added that she first denied knowledge of the kidnap but when detectives searched her home, they found a paper on which two mobile phone numbers had been written.

Detectives subjected the two number to forensic analysis and found out that the owners were in Kampala in an area where the kidnappers had made calls from.

“One team continued to negotiate with the kidnappers while another went to hunt the suspects around Kigo Village.

At the same time, the kidnappers agreed to hand over the child in exchange for the ransom,” he said.
The police team put only Shs3m ransom in a bag and delivered to a spot chosen by the kidnappers at Busega. He said the officers handed over the money and the kidnappers, who were in a waiting car, released the child.

“Our immediate interest was in rescuing the child. The suspects were able to flee the scene with only Shs3m that was in the envelope. But we are very sure they will be arrested because we have a lot of evidence on them,” he said.

By Daily Monitor

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