No ransom was paid for Kimberly Sue Endicott, a tourist abducted last week while on a game drive in Queen Elisabeth National Park.
Instead, the four armed men who kidnapped an American, and her driver Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo thought feared the concerted efforts of the joint security forces and decided to drop the detainees in Ishasha sector bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the police.
The two were rescued by the police on Sunday evening.
Several media outlets had quoted Wild Frontiers Uganda as having paid the ransom for the tourist and their senior guide/driver. The ransom requested is believed to have been about Shs2billion.
On Monday, police spokesperson Fred Enanga said an operation to arrest the culprits is still ongoing with the close coordination with counterparts from the DRC.
“We want to reassure all our citizens and visitors, that their safety and security is our number one priority. The successful recovery of the captives serves as a reminder to those enemies who want to harm our own people including visitor’s, that we will do everything possible within our means to defend them,” he said.
“We wish both, Ms Kimberley Sue Endicott and her safari guide, Jean-Paul Mirenge, a happy reunion with their families, as we continue to appraise the kidnap and rescue operation, to ensure such an occurrence does not happen again.”
When asked about who paid the ransom, Enanga said “Uganda Police and Government of Uganda don’t negotiate with abductors.
“And I want to emphasise this; that we didn’t pay any money to kidnappers but because of the implicit threat of the use of force, the armed captors, knew they were being pursued and had to flee leaving the detainees back,” Enanga said, adding that there is a possibility that this was a planned mission.
The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola, will on Monday evening hand over Kimberley to the American Embassy.