SECURITY | Uganda Police Force has a staked a Shs20 million cash reward for information leading to successful identification of a suspect in extortion criminality in Kampala.
Police have released a printout of a fuzzy image captured on CCTV camera and called on the public to help in identifying the culprit, who is seen wearing a navy-blue jacket atop black trousers and looking down as if conscious of the camera.
Nile Post, an online news website, quoted deputy police spokesperson Patrick Onyango as saying the image was captured from one of the businesses premises at which the culprit had gone to demand to enforce their gang’s demand.
“This man is believed to be the leader of the criminal gang circulating threatening messages to the business community. Luckily enough, there is a courageous business man who took this photo and whoever knows him should share with the police,” Nile Post quoted Onyango as saying.
In a statement, also signed by Onyango, Police said the suspect works with a gang calling itself “People’s Agency’ that the Force said comprises criminal elements that have been circulating threatening messages to the business community, especially in Kampala Metropolitan Area, demanding huge sums of money from them.
The letters are sent to business owners with intimidating messages demanding payment of money in foreign currencies ranging from $30,000 (about Shs113 million) to $45,000 (about Shs170 million).
Police say the gang demands that their victims pay the money within three months of receiving the letter as contribution towards the activities of the criminal gang.
“The mode of payment was by bit coin (a cryptocurrency),” Police said.
“Investigations into this matter is still on ongoing, however, we would like to appeal to the general public to positively identify for us the criminal in this photograph as he is the man behind the threatening letters to the business community.”
Police appealed to whoever has any information that may lead to his arrest and prosecution to pass it in confidence to the nearest police station or ring telephone numbers 0712827702, 0702436325, 0702415982, 0715411689.
The operation of the criminal gang comes after a lull of similar criminal elements that targeted suburban dwellers between 2016 and 2017.
This latter element would circulate notices to residences demanding valuables or money be left where they would pick it, failure of which homes are broken into and the residents beaten up and forced to forfeit valuables.