By Francis Otucu
Former commander of Kampala Metropolitan Police South Assistant Commissioner of Police Siraj Bakaleke has been suspended from the police force following an investigation that put him at the center of the robbery of Shs1.4billion from visiting Korean businessmen in February this year.
Bakaleke was removed from his post at KMP South in a reshuffle in March and put at the political desk in the commissariat was suspended together with four other officers also involved in the scam.
A letter written by Director of Police Administration, Moses Balimwoyo, demanded ACP Bakaleke, Assistant Superintendent of Police Herbert Akankwasa, Constable Robert Ayebare, Detective Inspector Robert Ray Asiimwe, and Constable Kenneth Zirintusa to hand over office immediately.
Patrick Onyango, the deputy police spokesperson, said: “It is true that the officers have been suspended to allow smooth investigation of their cases.”
According to sources, Ochola ordered a new probe into the incident that happened in February when two Korean businessmen on a trip to Uganda to purchase minerals were arrested by policemen and robbed of their money.
According to published reports at the time, the South Koreans were identified as Park Seunghoon and Jang Shingu Un were driving to meet some gold dealers at Acacia Mall in Kampala a meeting organised by their lawyer Paul Wanyoto.
Wanyoto has since recorded a statement with the Police and its it clear if the Police will charge him as a suspect in the scam or if his statement was recorded as a witness.
According to a statement by one of the Korean businessmen; while driving to Acacia Mall, their car was surrounded by armed men, who ordered them to handover everything they had in the car including money.
The Koreans were then taken to Katwe Police Station and detained for two days. At Katwe police there were charged with attempting to commit a felon but then after two days, they were driven to Entebbe International Airport.
According to investigations, the plan was to deport them back to Korea aboard Emirates Airlines but they missed the flight and were arrested by officers by flying squad.
Flying Squad operatives forced the Koreans to narrate their ordeal leading to the arrest of Bakaleke and his cohorts.
The policemen were arrested and questioned but released on bond. Their luck run out when Kale Kayihura was knifed as Police Chief and replaced by Ochola.
Kayihura had a soft spot for Bakareke but Ochola told Parliament that he had initially wanted Bakaleke suspended from the Police only for Kayihura to protect him.
The new Police chief Ochola removed Bakaleke from his KMP post and sent him to the commissariat and ordered a fresh inquiry. The report found that Bakaleke and four officers were involved in the plot to have the Koreans intercepted and robbed of their money (Shs1.4 billion $400,000). The enquiry also discovered the plan to have the Korerans deported quickly in a bid to kill the case.
According to police sources, the file is with the DPP and Bakaleke could be arrested any time now.