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Five Arua hospital employees have been detained for stealing an ambulance.

Five Arua hospital employees have been detained for stealing an ambulance.

In connection with the disappearance of an ambulance belonging to Arua Regional Referral Hospital, five persons have been arrested. On the night of Saturday, March 27th, 2021, the Toyota Land Cruiser UG 6812M vanished from the hospital parking lot.

The ambulance, however, went missing after Arua Resident City Commissioner Martin Oroch ordered it to take two Uganda Revenue Authority-URA enforcement agents who had been attacked by a mob from Ayivu East to Arua hospital.

The Ministry of Health gave Arua Regional Referral Hospital a brand-new ambulance worth more than $300,000 for highway emergency services last year, but it only lasted five months. The first to be detained and charged with negligence of duty were three security guards who were on duty the night the ambulance vanished.

They were eventually released when authorities were unable to locate any useful information about the ambulance’s absence. Police apprehended five more individuals over the weekend, whose identities have been concealed. Jude Nasucha, the Arua Central Police Station Commandant who oversaw the arrest, refused to divulge the names of the accused, claiming that doing so would compromise further investigations.

The suspects have since been identified as Dr. Dennis Ocatre, the chairman of the Dental Health Department, and two other members of his department who have only been identified as Alex and Philliam by URN. A security guard and an ambulance driver are the other suspects. Police spent their time investigating and tracking down the suspects, according to Nasucha, before zeroing in on the five who have already confessed to the crime.

 

The five have confessed to arranging the theft of the ambulance, according to Francis Otim of the Police Professional Standards Unit.

The suspects confessed, according to sources in security circles investigating the ambulance heist, stating they were warned the government will change in May following the January general elections, and they resolved to find a quick way to get money to survive while in exile.

An autoclave machine and various tool kits worth over Shillings 500 million went missing from Arua hospital in February last year and were found in Nebbi. Eight senior staff members were arrested after several other types of equipment were detected missing and re-supplied to the facility.

In 2017, the hospital’s Assistant Procurement Officer and a driver were arrested and held for a period of time in connection with the loss of another autoclave equipment. In addition to the usual disappearance of objects like bicycles belonging to patients, caretakers, and families at the hospital, two microscopes were reported missing from the central laboratory in 2008.

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