In a brazen heist, robbers posing as police officers stole UGX 71 million from a Chinese engineer attached to Chinese Railway Sevens Group, a company contracted to construct Kufu- Magale Road in Namisindwa District.
The incident occurred on Saturday at Lwoki Village, Bombobi Parish, Bumbobi Sub-County, Mbale District and has since sparked a manhunt for the culprits.
One of the witnesses, Mr. Moses Wambi, told this media outlet that five thieves dressed in police gear stopped the Chinese official and his driver as they were driving in a Toyota Wish, took a bag out of the car, and then fled along the Butaleja route.
“The thugs assaulted the driver before stealing the money. The four [thugs] were dressed in police uniform while one person was in civilian clothes,” Mr Wambi said.
“The victims claim when they reached at Bungokho Sub-county, the Chinese driver was stopped and ordered out of the car. The thugs continued with the Chinese [engineer] for some distance,” the Elgon regional police spokesperson, Mr Rogers Taitika, said.
According to police, the injured driver was taken immediately to Mbale General Clinic for treatment and is still being kept there.
According to sources who spoke to this journal, one of the accused thieves got lost in a neighborhood and fatally wounded by a mob in Butaleja District, while the other was apprehended by police in his hiding place.
Mr Taitika identified the Chinese official as Mr LI Tianbeng, 30, an assistant manager of China Railway Services Group.
The police have launched an investigation into the matter and are urging members of the public to come forward with any information that may assist with the case. “We are working tirelessly to identify and apprehend the suspects. We assure the public that justice will be served,” said a police spokesperson.
The incident has sparked worries about the security of Ugandan businesses, and officials have been encouraged to tighten security measures in order to avoid repeat events.
The general public is urged to exercise caution and confirm the identities of anyone posing as police officers before allowing them entrance to their properties.