KIKUUBE – Ronald Amanya, a spare parts dealer in Hoima town, has been arrested with 40 jerry cans of fuel in a sweeping police crackdown on a gang for fuel theft from an oil roads construction firm in the Albertin grabben region.
The police crackdown was commanded by Resident District Commissioner, Amlan Tumusiime.
Tumusiime said the suspect was trailed from Kisambo village in Kiziranfumbi Sub-County and arrested in Kitagasa village in Buhimba Sub-County.
According to Tumusiime, police impounded 40 Jerry cans of fuel including the suspect’s truck box-body Reg. N0. UBG 230N.
The crackdown was launched to scale back the soaring thefts of fuel from the roads contractor that threaten to derail the Shs 500 billion ongoing construction of critical oil roads by China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG).
CRSG was contracted to tarmac the 25 kilometer Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha-Butole Road, Kabaale-Kizirabfumbi road (25kms) and the 47 kilometer Masindi-Biiso road.
Overwhelmed by the persistent fuel thefts, CRSG recently petitioned the RDC’s office to help stop the escalating vice.
The company loses about 4,500 litres of fuel worth over Sh162 million to thieves per month – that is about Sh1.3 billion every year.
Tumusiime said the suspect ran out of luck after spies on the ground tracked him down and tipped off the RDC’s office.
“Using my office vehicle, police followed him from Kiziranfumbi sub-county and when he (suspect) reached Kitagasa village in Buhimba sub-county, the suspect jumped out of the truck together with his turn man and took off, police chased them and arrested the businessman,” he explained.
He said the suspect is currently detained at Kikuube District police station.
A Toyota Corona Reg. N0. UAD 189K and Premio Reg. N0. UAS 609N were also impounded two months ago on suspicion of ferrying stolen fuel but the occupants fled.
About 10 jerry cans and 10 drums of siphoned fuel found in the two vehicles were also impounded.
However, during interrogation this week, Amanya denied siphoning fuel. He told police that he was hired to transport the fuel to Hoima town.
“When we demanded that he directs us to the person who hired him to transport the fuel, he failed to identify that person, which showed he was hiding something,” one police officer said.
Tumusiime vowed to stop the fuel theft.
“We first educated the community that these oil road projects benefit them and not the Chinese. I am very happy that the community was empowered and whenever they see anybody stealing fuel, they call us and this has helped us to curb this challenge,” Tumusiime said.
Buy your copy of theCooperator magazine from one of our countrywide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news