Police have cracked down the phone thieves’ racket in Mukono after they stole two Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series belonging to former water minister, Ronald Kibuule, at a burial.
Mr. Kibuule, using his security connections vowed to find men behind the theft of his valuable phones while he was attending a vigil of a prominent elder in Nakabago village Mukono municipality, the late Mzee Henry Kasirye, the father of NRM boss Salongo Sekajja.
Trackers trailed the men, one in Namuyenje, and another in Nyenje, both villages in Mukono. It turned out the men who stole the phones were acting as DJs at the vigil, and actually, the same DJs helped to announce the stolen phones.
The men belonged to an organised gang of thieves who steal phones at events and are financed by a phone dealer Marvin Ssekitayira in Wantoni, a busy trading centre in Mukono municipality.
Ssekitayira’s luck ran out last Tuesday, after security and the former minister himself stormed his shop at 9.30pm. Whereas it was curfew time, Marvin, a popular businessman in Wantoni trading centre, was in his shop flashing out the contacts and files on stolen phones before he repackages and resells them in DR Congo, South Sudan and Kenya.
Marvin admitted at the police that he bought the phones described by the ex-minister but had flashed and dispatched them off for sale in DRC. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip were in gold and black colours respectively.
Whereas the furious minister wanted Marvin prosecuted but a friend who is a relative of the businessman pleaded with him to forgive the offenders and asked that thieves instead refund money at the value of the Phones.
For the sake of friendship, Mr Kibuule accepted, although he didn’t withdraw the case from police. But he told Police to do their job because there was a rise in phone thefts in the district.
“They should have stopped with stealing mine,” Mr Kibuule told Watchdog.
“I am upset that I lost valuable contacts and information filed on the phones. They cannot refund or compensate the contacts they deleted. I had several valuable contacts and proposals on the phones. These thieves could not recover them.” – Hon Kibuule
Watchdog understands that the minister had the latest version of iPhones which he valued at USD3000.
Martin Ssekitayira, has been established as the key dealer in stolen phones in Mukono. In the recent past, there is been a rise in phone and female bags snatching in Mukono. It has been understood that the destination for stolen phones is Marvin’s shop, who claims he buys his phone accessories from Dubai and the Middle East.
Ssekitayira however pleaded innocence when he spoke to news website Entebbe Post.
“I insisted that I do not buy second-hand phones. He refused and tasked me to immediately pay him Ugx 20 million for two phones, or else, I am taken to prison,” Ssekitayira told Entebbe Post.
Whereas Kibuule told Watchdog that Ssekitayira has not paid him, the phone dealer claims he borrowed Sh20 million to pay the ex-minister.
It is yet to be seen whar Police’s next course of action on Marvin’s racket of thieves is going to be.
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