Two soldiers attached to the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have been arrested on allegations of extorting money from fishermen in Buliisa District.
The duo identified as Pte Wilfred Okumu and another identified only as Pte Sande who was part of the team operating in the district was arrested today (Friday) by the Chief of Staff for Land Forces in the UPDF, Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda.
Gen Kyanda is currently heading the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) responsible for regulating fishing operations on Lake Albert.
“While in Buliisa today, we found two soldiers who had not quite followed the lines of instructions and had gone beyond their required duties. They have been removed from the operation so that they allow us to investigate them further,” Gen Kyanda said.
In May this year, the IATF closed 61 landing sites at Lake Albert in an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The landing sites were later on December 3, 2020, reopened reportedly after thorough assessment and site visits.
However, a week later, some fishermen informed the authorities alleging that a group of people were extorting money from them.
In response to the outcry on December 11, 2020, Capt Stephen Tumwesigye, the western region UPDF spokesperson at the Field Artillery Division (FAD) headquarters said whoever was extorting money from the fishermen was doing it illegally and would soon be arrested.
The arrested soldiers have been transferred to the FAD headquarters in Masindi.