Four Arrested in Connection to Abduction and Ransom of 16-Year-Old Student

PALLISA – Four suspects have been apprehended by the police in connection with the abduction for ransom and trafficking of Aguti Harried Vick, a 16-year-old student at Pallisa Secondary School. The arrests were made in Bukedi North and Pallisa district.

According to a police statement, Aguti was kidnapped on the 8th of August, 2023, around 4 pm, shortly after leaving her school premises. The abduction took place when a male student identified as Okiria Constant, aged 18, intercepted her. He then transported her to her sister’s residence where she was held against her will.

The following day, on the 9th of August, 2023, at approximately 11 am, Aguti was compelled to speak with her parents and implore them to pay a ransom for her release. Her mother received a call at around 9:03 am, during which Aguti requested funds to secure her freedom.

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SCP Enanga Fred, the Uganda Police Spokesperson, disclosed that an investigative task force successfully located and rescued the victim. Among the individuals taken into custody are Pte Aguwa Justine Andrew, a 29-year-old soldier attached to Ruhengeri; Okanya Emma, a 28-year-old resident of Senior Quarter Cell, Pallisa Town Council; Okiria Constant, an 18-year-old student of Pallisa SS; and Imoit Anna Florence, a 26-year-old businesswoman from Kisenyi Cell, Pallisa Town Council. These suspects are currently under investigation and awaiting court proceedings.

The police recovered several items as evidence, include a toy pistol, a bayonet, a National ID card, and other pertinent exhibits.

Enanga emphasized, “We continue to alert teenagers, guardians, and parents about the growing threat of ransom kidnappings that target teenagers. Perpetrators often have knowledge of their victims and meticulously plan these acts against affluent families. They exploit their victims for ransom and compel families to make swift payments for the safe release of their loved ones.”

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He went on to add, “The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) commended the diligent efforts of the task force in successfully rescuing the victim and apprehending those responsible. This should serve as a stark warning to all individuals involved in child kidnappings that they will be relentlessly pursued, apprehended, and brought to justice.”

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