Police Dismiss Extortion Claims From Traders Against Its Men

Police have defended its own men who were captured on Closed Circuit Television-CCTV cameras extorting money on alleged unlicensed traders at Trust Arcade downtown in Kampala.

This has followed a video clip that has been making rounds on social media of police officers sharing money they had allegedly extorted from the business community during their self made operations .

The viral video has attracted condemnation of police by the members of the public. In one of the posts by one Patrick Malala on X, formerly twitter, he said:”Infuriated by the disgraceful video depicting police officers invading Trusted arcade Kikubo, pillaging businesses, and extorting money from hardworking citizens. Such blatant abuse of authority is reprehensible and undermines the rule of law.” Malala said.

Another post made by the retired senior Police Officer AIGP Asan Kasingye on X, he said:”I agree with the voice over. Police, take action against these officers as per the Police Act & or Penal Code. I will personally & silently follow up this case. Will be asking every month what action was taken here on my TL till justice is done.” Kasingye said

However, in a statement that has been issued by the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango, police has said that the operation was not self-deployment or an illegal operation as alleged.

According to Police, it was Uganda Registration Service Bureau-URSB that requested for the police support in their operation to crack down on counterfeits and trademark infringement traders.

“URSB organized an operation to crack down on counterfeits and trademark infringement of the detergent Jik. They requested police support, which the police accepted. The operation was carried out with the full knowledge of the business community’s leadership. Onyango said”

In the video, a police officer can be seen carrying money in his hands, but Onyango has said that the money was given to the officers as a lunch allowance by URSB, not by traders.

“This money was officially given to the officers as a lunch allowance by URSB, if anyone has information contrary should contact the Police Professional Standard Unit to provide evidence proving that officers were extorting money.”Onyango noted.

The allegations of extortion and robberies by police officers from the members of the public have been increasing. Last month, four police officers attached to Kabalagala Police station were dismissed from the force for stealing USD30, 000 from a Kenyan Businessman.

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