Ugandan police catch thief with his pants down - literally

Before being transported to Kampala central police station, the suspect was ordered to put his trousers on (John McCann/M&G)

Before being transported to Kampala central police station, the suspect was ordered to put his trousers on (John McCann/M&G)

A Ugandan fraudster has been caught with his pants down, literally, according to a report in Uganda’s Daily Monitor.

The suspect was apprehended at his Kampala home as he tried to escape out of his bedroom window. He did not have time to put on his clothes, so waiting police arrested him in his underwear.

Said the policeman who made the arrest: “I had heard the lady wake up the man telling him ‘Obusajja buze’ [the men are here], get your clothes and run. The lady threw her husband’s trousers over the perimeter wall and they landed right in front of the detective.
Since it was dark I stood next to the pawpaw tree.

“I collected the clothes and put them away and I waited for him, as he stealthily tried to climb down the wall making sure he was not heard. I grabbed his foot and I twisted it, forcing him to let out a loud cry,” the policeman continued.

“The twist was enough to disable him and he accepted to go with us.”

Before being transported to Kampala central police station, the suspect was ordered to put his trousers on.

The bare facts

It was old-fashioned detective work that had led Ugandan police to their suspect, known only as Mukasa.

He was wanted in connection with a complicated plot to defraud the country’s central bank, involving bounced cheques and fraudulently-issued treasury bills. The plot had worked: Mukasa walked away with 285 million Ugandan shillings — nearly a million rand.

He hadn’t left many clues. His ID documents were forged, and he used a false name and address. The only thing police had to work with was the photo on the ID — and a hefty five million shilling reward (R16 300), offered by Charles Nyonyitono Kikonyogo, the irate central bank governor.

“There was almost nothing to kick-start the investigations with, save for the cheques that had bounced. However, the money staked by the governor gave us a good start,” one detective told the Daily Monitor.

Police walked around downtown Kampala showing the photo to other suspected bank fraudsters. Someone eventually snitched and led police to Mukasa’s favourite bar. A few hours later the suspect walked in — still fully clothed at this stage — ordered some takeaway beers and jumped into a taxi. A detective followed him home on a motorcycle.

The arrest was made after backup arrived. Mukasa, along with two Bank of Uganda officials who had colluded with him, has been sentenced to five years in jail.

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