The Abim Resident District Commissioner [RDC] Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka says he has rejected a Uganda shilling 50 million bribe from a group of seven traders.
The traders who crossed to Abim district from Kapelebyong on Tuesday night, were travelling in a FUSO truck of registration number UBA 279L.
Mr Mpimbaza together with the officer in command (OC) of Abim police station, ASP Mafuko George, intercepted the truck near Oyaro in Kiru town council at around 10:00pm. The commercial vehicle was transporting grass.
According to the RDC, who tells TND News he commanded the operation himself, two of the men were seated with the driver in the front cabin while another four were hiding in the grass behind the vehicle.
“The driver of the Fuso lorry refused to park the car at the police station and forcefully drove past two check points in Abim town and Otalabar. The truck was impounded by police in Alerek sub-county,” Mr Mpimbaza, said in an interview with TND News on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier on, TND News had spoken to one of the suspects, Osege James, who accused Police and LDUs who arrested them of “stealing Uganda shilling 26,526, 500 million from them”.
Mr Osege subsequently said that out of the Uganda shilling 26.5 million taken from them, they were told “by the OC Abim” that only 25.5m was available.
In the same interview, he added that the OC Abim Police station, who is also the Acting DPC, ASP Mafuko George, ordered them to remove their trousers and hand over their money which was not recorded anywhere.
“When we calculated the amount of money we handed over to the DPC, it was 26, 526, 500 million,” he said during a phone interview from Abim Police station.
However, the RDC has strongly rejected the traders’ claim. “I was in that operation and that’s a lie unless the money was stolen later.”
“We had arrested some army man who had opened a bar very late and he had gathered a lot of people in the night. After the man was arrested, we saw a truck coming; we stopped it. I went myself to the driver and I asked him: “Where are you going at this time?” He could not explain. Then I asked him: “Are you aware there is a curfew in town?” He said: “Yes”
“Soon, the OC came and asked for the permit from this gentleman. The permit he had was for a man called Ochom Emmanuel and the driver is called Akor Stephen,” the RDC said, revealing he advised the driver to drive back to Abim CPS.
Refusing ‘dirty money’
“One of thesuspects came to me and said he was offering me 50 million shilling, and the second one came and said he had 20 million for the OC/Ag DPC. I rejected the money,” the Abim RDC said, adding that, “I was not interested in any negotiation.”
According to the RDC, when the police and [some] locals entered the impounded lorry, they found traders sleeping under the grass. He said the police became very suspicious and the locals wanted to beat them up but he stopped them.
He also said there was need to first understand where they were coming from, and where they were going, something the traders couldn’t explain.
So, I told them: “Lets now have all your exhibits”. Then I ordered all their money and their phones to be given to the OC.
On how much they confiscated, the RDC added: “We didn’t count, it was a lot of money.”
Those currently under police custody include: Ogwang Moses, Osege James, Ekipu Julius and Okello Joseph. Others are: Ekulu Joseph, Abieu Richard and Ogulei James.