Police in Hoima has arrested a 50-year-old man for allegedly faking his own kidnap and receiving Shs 2 million ransom money from his wife.
The Police Flying Squad picked Godfrey Katusiime, a resident of Bwikya ward in Mparo division who disappeared from home on Thursday last week.
He says a few hours after his disappearance, Katusiime called his wife, Alice Nyandera claiming that he had been kidnapped. He reportedly claimed that his kidnappers wanted a ransom of Shs 2 million to release him or else they would eliminate him.
Albertine Region police spokesperson Julius Allan Hakiza said Nyandera filed a case of kidnap at Hoima Central police station on Friday morning. According to Hakiza, Katusiime called his wife again on Friday afternoon claiming that the kidnappers had given them a deadline of six hours to find the money or else they kill him.
Concerned family members raised the required money with the help of area residents and sent it to Katusiime’s mobile phone. The Police Flying Squad swung into action to find the missing person. Police smoked Katusiime from his hideout in Butebere village in Buhanika sub-county Hoima district on Sunday night at around 11:30pm.
Police also recovered Shs 1.5 million from Katusiime’s phone believed to be part of the Shs 2 million mobile money sent on his mobile phone. He was whisked off to Hoima Central police station where he is in custody. Upon interrogation, Katusiime admitted having faked his kidnap, saying he wanted money to settle a debt with Encot Micro-finance in Hoima.
Hakiza says the suspect will be charged with receiving money by false pretense and faking his own kidnap once investigations are complete. He cautioned members of the public to be alert, saying some people are faking their kidnap to obtain money from their unsuspecting victims.
The arrest of Katusiime comes a few days after unidentified people kidnapped 28-year-old Susan Magara and demanded a ransom of $1 million from her parents. Despite receiving part of the money, the kidnappers killed Magara drawing angry reactions across the country.
This week at least 4 people have been reported missing from various parts of the city.