By Joseph Kato. A UPDF soldier at the rank of captain has been arrested in connection with the kidnap and murder of an Eritrean businessman with the intention of stealing 2 millon euros (Shs8 billion) from him.
Capt Hakim Mangeni and his alleged accomplices; Mr Ben Lumu and Rucy Katuramu were arrested by the police Flying Squad Unit (FSU) at the weekend over allegations of killing Deniel Weldo.
Mr Andrew Kaweesi, the police spokesperson said the trio duped Weldo, a former South Sudan businessman that they would help him to get a visa to German from where he could transact business.
Mr Kaweesi said the suspects, under the guise of securing Weldo a visa, realized that he had over 2 million euros on his Ugandan accounts and hatched a plan to eliminate him.
“Weldo was reported missing on October 27. The police mounted a search. He was on weekend recovered murdered at a farm in Busia District of Kenya. Three suspects have been arrested and charged with murder,” Mr Kaweesi said told journalists at the police headquarters in Kampala on Monday.
Mr Kaweesi said the suspects connived with two local banks and transferred Weldo’s money. He, however, declined to reveal the banks for fear of litigation.
“This racket involved two commercial banks. We have learnt some employees of local banks conspire with criminals to defraud foreigners who have a lot of money on their accounts,” Mr Kaweesi said.
He said criminals and some bank employees have resorted to killing clients who have big amounts of money on their accounts and withdraw the money expecting nobody to tress the crime.
He said Weldo was the second Eritrean to be targeted by criminals this year although the first one survived being killed and his about Shs7.5 billion was never withdrawn.
Weldo was a 32-year- old man who operated his business from South Sudan. He relocated to Uganda after an armed conflict between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former First Vice president Riek Machar.
Although Mr Kaweesi could not divulge how police got information linking the suspects to the crime, a police source said the Eritrean envoy and Weldo’s relatives presented his cell phone and other documents which FSU used to extract call printouts from local telecom companies.
“We have credible information that the murder was masterminded by Capt Mangeni. He is the one who gave orders that Weldo be crossed to Busia in Kenya from where he was killed,” Mr Kaweesi said.
The body has since been brought to the City Mortuary at Mulago Hospital