Kampala. Police have arrested a man who allegedly faked a kidnap to extort money from his parents, who had earlier got it as a bride price after giving away their daughter.
Mr Emmanuel Nkurunziza went missing on April 24, and hours later, someone using his (Nkurunziza) mobile phone called the suspected victim’s parents demanding a Shs5 million ransom or harm him.
The Kisoro District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police Hassan Ssekalema, said Nkurunziza’s family members told the suspected kidnappers that they did not have the sum of money demanded.
“The alleged kidnappers reduced the ransom to Shs1 million, but Nkurunziza’s relatives again refused to send the money insisting that they did not have any coin on them,” Mr Ssekalema said yesterday.
The alleged kidnappers’ bargain again went to Shs500,000, but the suspected victim’s relatives did not relent.
Mr Ssekalema said after three days, Nkurunziza appeared at Kisoro Police Station claiming that he had been dropped by kidnappers by the roadside.
“Police officers allowed him to record a statement and left him go home as investigations continued. Later, we found out that he was not telling the truth, we arrested him at his home,” he said.
Police interrogated him on how he was kidnapped and what he went through but failed to cover up the gaps in the first statement he recorded.
The suspect later told detectives that he faked the kidnap-for ransom because he has three loans from three different micro-finance institutions he has failed to service.
He confessed that he wanted to get a ransom from his parents to offset them.
“The suspect said he knew that his parents had money because they had just received a bride price,” Mr Ssekalema said.
He added that they have preferred charges of giving false information to public officers against the suspect.
Past fake kidnaps
Ansimire. Last week, Peace Ansimire, 19, a daughter of Reverend Fred Muhwezi, allegedly connived with her boyfriend to get a Shs3.5 million ransom from her parents. They were both arrested and they said they wanted to use the money to start a business.
Uwase. Two weeks ago, Mariam Uwase, 21, staged her own kidnap with the intention of extorting Shs25 million from her boyfriend.
Tracking. Flying Squad operatives used a Shs700,000 bait to track the suspects and the signal led them to an apartment where she was peacefully staying.
Others. Three similar incidents have been reported in western Uganda in the last one month.