Police in Uganda have warned passengers, particularly those using the northern bypass, that many criminals are using taxis for robberies.
Uganda Police has warned passengers, particularly those using the northern bypass, to be vigilant since many robbers use taxis to accomplish their crimes.
According to Fred Enanga the police spokesperson, they continue to receive complaints were criminals in conspiracy with rogue taxi drivers and conductors, rob innocent passengers who board taxis of their valuables like cash, mobile phones, jewellery, and ATM cards.
Enanga said the taxi gangs have been identified along sections that feed into the Kampala Northern bypass, from Busega to Namboole.
“Unsuspecting passengers board the taxis, after seeing other occupants in the taxi yet these are criminals disguised as passengers. The victims are attacked as the taxi starts moving and forced to surrender their cash, mobile phones, ATM cards, reveal their pin code numbers and other valuables.”
“The danger with this criminal behaviour is that after robbing the victim, they push, throw or bundle them out of the moving taxi, onto the tarmac or side of the road. We strongly condemn these acts of impunity by taxi gangs,” Enanga said.
He raised the joint task teams from Kampala Metropolitan Police, are already gathering intelligence and good clues about these criminals, taxi gangs, that are hiring female accomplices to disguise as passengers and also using fake number plates that they remove after every mission.
Enanga however, issued out a few safety tips to passengers especially women that as they plan their travel using taxis, they should always check the number plates to see that they are well fixed and appear genuine.
He said they should also ensure they board taxis from gazetted stages. Enanga maintained they should also observe if the driver has a genuine badge, which is well displayed with names and stage.
“Avoid sitting in the back seat. At least get a seat where you are visible near the door or window. For instance, sitting in the middle puts you in danger, since you cannot cry for help. Keep expensive items hidden in your bag, especially your smart phone. Then keep your purse so close to you, preferably between your feet or chest,” Enanga tipped.
“Never take a taxi alone, since it may be hard to defend your self from the taxi gang already inside the taxi. At least board from a gazetted stage with other passengers. Always have emergency numbers to call especially if the taxi is heading in the wrong direction. Be courageous and make an alarm calling for help at the window,” he added.