No Evidence of Theft From Polish Tourist – Uganda Police

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ASP Abdu Nasser Mulimira, attached to Old Kampala Police investigations unit, says the available evidence is insufficient to implicate anybody. (Photo/Courtesy/File)

The Police has said there is no evidence on record regarding the alleged theft of USD$ 7,137 (approximately Shillings 26.3 million from a polish tourist.

Police says the scene of crime was tampered with by opening the padlock before the case was reported to the police.

In a report to the Director Criminal Investigations, AIGP Grace Akullo, Detective ASP Abdu Nasser Mulimira, the Divisional CID Officer for Old Kampala said the available evidence is insufficient to implicate anybody.

Last month, a 59-year-old polish tourist and national Paula Marzena Bilih, a resident of Selam Inn Guest House along Namirember road reported a case of break-in and theft of her property.

Among the stolen items recorded at police were her mobile phone Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung tablet, 1.2 million shillings, US$5,454, power bank, charger device with four cards, all valued at approximately Shillings 26.3million.

For the past month, the tourist took to twitter expressing her disappointment with the authorities at the guest house and Uganda police for taking their time to handle her matter.

She later told URN in an interview that for several weeks, she was at Old Kampala and never got police report.

According to Mulimira, the scene of crime was visited by a team of detectives and the divisional Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO) who then recorded statements from witnesses including Robert Wabwire, a supervisor at the Guest House and its director Agumasie Taye.

Other statements according to Police were recorded from the Guest House Cleaner Timothy Natandwa, the manager, James Gumisiriza and the receptionist Dasil Homa, all who according to their statements denied knowledge of the breaking and theft of items.

Additionally, Police says they picked and filed a declaration form dated September 30th in the names of Selan Inn Guest House signed by the complainant with “no items declared.”

Paula Marzena Bilih

During their investigations, Police noted that the tourist booked in the guest house on 30th September and stayed in the hotel for some time and reported the theft of her properties on the 13th of November.

“…throughout her stay at the said guest house, she kept her keys and never returned them to the management as required. On the 30/09/2019, she booked in for room 39 but after some days, she shifted to room 9 claiming that there was too much noise near her initial room,” says the investigating officer.

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Police says during its investigations, it was established that as per the regulations of the guest house, a client must declare all valuables in possession to the management at the reception.

“However the complainant did not declare any valuables at the time of booking. This is evidenced on the copy of the declaration form signed by her,” reads the report of the preliminary investigations.

Adding that; “it has been established that during her stay in the guest house, whenever the room was being cleaned, the complainant was always around on the balcony.”

Police also says the Samsung Galaxy S4 among the stolen items had not been used in Uganda which the police say it had no receipt as proof of ownership to aid tracking.

“It is possible upon proof, that her room was opened with a spare key in the possession of the management of the guest house, upon studying her movements since she had stayed for a long time. However, for now, the management is hiding behind the declaration form which she did not honestly declare on at the time of entry. But as investigations continue, the truth will be unveiled and the culprit will be apprehended and prosecuted on evidence,” reads report.

According to Police, they can only track the tourist’s phone if she can produce the receipt to show serial number of the stolen phone in order to recover the stolen items as well as arresting the suspects for prosecution.

Following the robbery, several Ugandans on Twitter lashed out at the tourist for staying in a cheap and unsecured guest house that could not grant security of her property.

Paula Marzena has however disclosed to URN that most of the world travellers are not interested in luxury, as it is not the matter of affordability.

Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) Spokesperson, says they read with concern a social media post alleging that Police officers of Old Kampala have refused to avail to the complainant a Police report.

Onyango told URN on December 30, that the tourist requested for Police report, which was her right. He says however that she did not have money for a Police Report, which is given upon payment of 70,000 shillings, a Non-Tax Revenue payable in the bank.

“Police detectives at Old Kampala used their own money to pay for the report. This was a real sacrifice by the officers. It’s not true that they refused to give her the report. She had no money and our officers sacrificed their salary to pay for her,” said Onyango.

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