By AWORI ESTHER LUCY
KAMPALA- SHIFTMEDIA– The increased wave of crime in the city regarding phone thefts is alarming.
The latest crime report released y the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) shows that phones worth Ush4 billion (Usd$1.1m) are lost to thieves annually. This amounts to at least 15 phones stolen each day.
According to released data, thugs stole at least 5,630 phones in 2019 worth Shs 4.29 billion. Police investigators including the cyber-crime unit claim to have ably recovered mobile phones worth Shs 654 million (Usd$180,000).
The stolen phones in 2019 were the lowest compared to 2018 and 2017, where 6,205 and 6,177 telephones were stolen by thugs respectively. Most of the phones are stolen from Kampala city, Wakiso and Mukono districts. Sources from intelligence indicate that government also has “a network of its own thugs” they use to steal mobile phones which they use to piece together what people are sharing.
According to CID spokesperson Charles Twine, most stolen phones are taken to neighbouring Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where tracking becomes hard due to operation area jurisdiction.
Statistics reveal that 1,688 mobile phones were stolen from people in Kampala alone in 2019, translating to 4 mobile phones being lost to criminals every day. CID set up a cybercrime unit three years ago purposely to deal with cyber fraud, phone tracking, electronic fraud, cyber impersonation and cyber harassment.
Charles Twine said the police cybercrime unit has done a recommendable job in tracking and recovering stolen phones. Twine however said owners of the recovered phones are yet to come for them.
“We have done reasonable recoveries of phones to the extent that there are even some phones we have recovered and the owners are not aware,” told URN news site.