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Contract Killings


Thursday, 14 October 2010

robbing vehicles, murdering the owners and discreetly disposing of their bodies after burning them.

chilling details have emerged on how a gang of hard-core criminals has over five years been robbing vehicles, murdering the owners and discreetly disposing of their bodies after burning them.

The Police have recovered five bodies of victims suspected to have been killed by suspects recently arrested in connection with a series of car robberies and murders.

Investigations have also unearthed the tricks the gang has been using to lure the victims. The tricks included using the victim’s wife or girlfriend, who would easily convince their partner to trust the gang in any transaction.

The Police suspect that the group has been active over the last five years but had managed to keep their activities secret.

Arrested over a week ago in Makindye, a city suburb, the gangsters had stolen or robbed vehicles and murdered the owners. In some cases, they set the bodies ablaze to conceal evidence.

Kajjansi Police boss Francis Kabera yesterday said the bodies were recovered in various parts of the country.

Some of the suspects, according to the Police, confessed to being involved in the crimes and led the detectives to the murder spots.

The investigations are being handled jointly by the Special Investigations Unit and the Rapid Response Unit.

The gang, it emerged, set up a company to sell stolen vehicles, often passing them off as vehicles of loan defaulters.

Kajjansi criminal investigations department boss Daniel Batte yesterday said the bodies recovered included that of Claude Ndeezi, Constantine Ssempala and of two others only identified as Kafuluma and Mubarak. One other body was not identified.

Ndeezi’s body was recovered from Nkozi, Kafuluma’s from Buwama, Mubaraka’s on Masaka Road and Sempala’s from Bweya.

The Police said the arms of Nkata, another victim, were tightly tied behind his back, coupled with strangulation. His remains were burnt.

The Police, who believed he was a mob justice victim, took the body to the city mortuary.

It was later buried in an unmarked grave in a public cemetery in Lusaze, Kampala.

Eight members of the group are in Police custody.

The Police told New Vision that some of the bodies were recovered after the suspects confessed and led them to the places where they were dumped.

Batte said the group would pounce on their victims, strangle them before setting the bodies on fire to disguise the cause of death.

The gang, the Police said, would at times pose as passengers, but would murder the driver on the way.

On other occasions, the wives and girlfriends of the victims were reportedly used to lure them into their traps.

The Police suspect that the group has been active for the last five years but managed to keep their activities under wraps.

The Police said the lid was blown off the gang when they disagreed with a potential customer.

The thugs, who were selling a Toyota Ipsum had finally accepted to trade it with a Toyota Corona, on condition that the owner of the Corona topped up the difference with some money, which he did. “It turned out that the other party had already sold the car to another person. A wrangle ensued and the aggrieved party reported the matter to the Police,” Kabera said.

The gang allegedly also use trickery to acquire vehicles.

“They would claim that they want a car for self-drive for two weeks or more, then pay some sum of money and drive off with the car. They would immediately forge car documents and mortgage it,” Kabera said.

Over 10 vehicles have so far been recovered in the ongoing investigations.

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