PALLISA, (UG): The Territorial Police in Bukedi North and Pallisa District are holding four suspects in police custody pending to appear in court over the alleged kidnap and trafficking of a 16-year-old female student.
The victim identified as Aguti Harriet Vick, 16, is a student of Pallisa Secondary School, in Pallisa District, Eastern Uganda.
According to police spokesperson Fred Enanga, preliminary facts gathered indicated that on Tuesday, August 8, Aguti left her school for home at around 4 pm for home before she was intercepted by a male student identified as Okiria Constant, 18, who took her to her sister’s home.
“The following day off, 9.08.2023, at around 11 am, the victim was forced to talk to her parents while asking them to pay for a ransom so that her life is spared. She spoke to her mother at around 9.03 am, instructing her to send money and save her life,” Enanga said in the police statement.
Enanga added that following an alert by the parents of their daughter’s kidnap and demand for ransom, the victim was tracked down and recovered by our task team leading to the arrest of four suspects.
These include; Pte Aguwa Justine Andrew, (a 29-year-old UPDF soldier attached to Ruhengeri detachment), Okanya Emma, 28, a resident of Senior quarter cell in Pallisa TC, Okiria Constant, an 18-year-old, student of Pallisa SS, and his sister; Imoit Anna Florence, a 26-year-old, businesswoman of Kisenyi cell, in Pallisa town council.
Enanga further explained that suspected kidnappers are usually known perpetrators, who surveil particular families that are better off, and gather information about them, and as a result, they kidnap their loved ones and coerce the family members into paying a ransom quickly, to enable the release of the victim.
He said during the arrest of the quartet, police recovered exhibits of toy pistols used to threaten the kidnapped victims.
“Exhibits of a toy pistol, bayonet, National ID card and other exhibits were recovered. We continue to warn teenagers, guardians and parents, about kidnaps for ransom targeting teenagers.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy IGP, Maj Gen Geoffrey Katsigazi Tumusiime has applauded the task team for their dedicated efforts that helped rescue the victim and for the arrest of the suspects involved.
“This serves as a warning to all perpetrators of child kidnaps, that they will be pursued, arrested and charged in court,” Enanga concluded.