The Internal Security Organisation (ISO) has arrested another suspect in connection with the March 5 foiled bullion van robbery, where operatives shot dead two suspects at Kyambogo in Kampala. The arrest of David Bukenya, 49, one of the suspected planners of the robbery, brings the number of suspects arrested to two.
Another suspect, Alfred Wabuyi, was arrested on the evening of March 5, when ISO operatives shot dead two of his colleagues — Edie Ojame and Bright Turyatunga, a Special Forces Command deserter. Bukenya, a resident of Bulenga on Mityana Road, was arrested after almost a month of tracking by ISO operatives, who have been hunting for the masterminds of the thwarted robbery.
Whereas ISO says Wabuyi confessed to participating in the foiled robbery, Bukenya denied having been part of it. “I was part of the group, but I did not know that we were going for a robbery. I was misled,” Wabuyi told operatives as he was being paraded before the media at the ISO headquarters in Nakasero on Monday evening.
The bullion van driver, Michael Oketch, who then managed to escape because no one paid attention to him, is still on the run. Ojame was Oketch’s brother. ISO is also looking for Badiru, also suspected to be one of the masterminds of the robbery. The ISO boss, Col (rtd) Frank Bagyenda Kaka, said the suspects were under the security agency’s custody.
Sources at ISO revealed that the head of information technology (IT) (name withheld) at G4S Security Company, the operators of the bullion van, has been interrogated over the foiled robbery. Speaking about the incident recently, Kaka said they wanted to interrogate the G4S head of IT after his operatives realized that the van door was open when the bullion van stopped at Seeta and the robbers picked some money from it.
He said the fact that the van back door was open suggests that the system was demobilized; adding that ordinarily, the door should have automatically got locked after the last batch of money was put in the van at Mukono.
“My boys wanted to open fire at Seeta, but they hesitated after realizing that there were many people and the traffic was heavy, which could result in many casualties in the shoot-out since the robbers were also armed,” he said.
Kaka added that the G4S IT officer had to explain why the van door was open, and it later got locked in Kyambogo. At Kyambogo, one of Kaka’s guards got locked in the van when he sat behind it, reportedly to stop anyone from accessing the money. He got out after ISO called G4S security, who opened the door.
How they moved
Operatives revealed that the robbers had two vehicles; a Toyota Premio and a Toyota Mark II, which they used to trail the bullion van.
The suspected thieves, who expected that the bullion van was going to pick between sh4b and sh5b, were also armed with two pistols and an AK47 rifle. The robbers had reportedly left Wabuyi in Mukono town.
He was in charge of buying chloroform, pork and cold energy drinks, which were laced. The pork and drinks were reportedly served to the two armed G4S guards before they slept off. Wabuyi was arrested on that very day.
After the guards slept off, the bullion van first stopped near Seeta High School, where the robbers picked some money from it and put it in the Premio, which was right behind the van. The robbers stopped for a short time before the van drove off again.
The robbers made another stopover at Kazinga-Bweyogerere near Watoto Church and again picked some money from the van, and put it into the Premio. They reportedly repeated the same at Namboole.
“I had wanted my operatives to engage the robbers at Namboole, but I got some engagement with my minister (security minister Gen. Elly Tumwine), and since they did not hear from me, they proceeded up to Kyambogo. This is when they intercepted them and put two of them (Ojame and Turyatunga) out of action,” he said.