The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement team in Mbale rescued a robbed fuel truck registration number KCB022G which was heading to Congo.
The authority said robbers threw out the driver and turn boy at gunpoint and told them to wait for an empty truck after all the fuel has been vended to small traders along the Northern route through Soroti.
Although they were handcuffed with ropes, they managed to access a phone for help. The URA team in Mbale immediately swung into action and reached out to Transit Monitoring Unit (TMU) in Kampala to get the actual location of the truck.
The TMU team reported that the truck was in Nakaloke, a suburb in Mbale city.
“At this point, we beefed up our security personnel knowing that the robbers too were armed,” Luke Kivumbi the officer behind the operation narrated.
At Nakaloke, the fuel truck was identified parked in a dark spot and the robbers were already drawing fuel.
“We knew immediately that our best weapon was the element of surprise and it worked for us as all the suspects immediately scattered in the nearby bushes when they set eyes on the Army,” Kivumbi explained.
When the robbers left, this made work easy for the URA officers to reach out to the owners of the truck.
“We guarded the truck until the owners sent another driver who drove the truck to Mbale Customs checkpoint,” Kivumbi said.
On verification, it was discovered that the robbers had already drawn fuel and also left a gun with three rounds magazine.
According to Kivumbi,the URA Customs team is responsible for monitoring goods in transit. For this case, goods had been diverted and dumped on the local market, yet they hadn’t paid taxes in Uganda. This implies that there was potential revenue loss had URA not taken charge.
For now, the truck together with its contents has been forwarded to Intelligence team for further management.