Aviation in trouble over US commando arrested with weapons
Written by URN
Police has instituted investigations into the operations of Immigration and Aviation police that could have facilitated the entry into Uganda of an American national who was arrested with uniforms, weapons and ammunition belonging to the United States army.
57-year-old Paul Mathias Rogers was arrested over the weekend from his home in Bwebajja, along Entebbe road following a tip-off from his estranged wife Lillian Kaitesi.
In a video posted on social media, a seemingly traumatised Kaitesi accuses Rogers of torture, threatening her with murder after she reportedly refused to sign papers for him to get Ugandan citizenship.
She also revealed that her "extremely violent" husband forced her to abort five times by making her drink his urine and that he also possess an assortment of weapons at his home.
A subsequent search uncovered a number of US army uniforms, guns, knives, ammunition, and pepper spray among other military stores. He was later taken to the dreaded Nalufenya police detention facility for interrogation on charges of weapons trafficking, terrorism and illegal possession weapons.
Preliminary investigations reveal that the weapons and other military equipment despite not being cleared to enter the country, passed through Entebbe airport.
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima says whoever in Immigration and Aviation Police failed to detect or allowed these weapons to enter the country will have to answer.
"For every property cleared, there are documentations and there is a well-laid down procedure. So whoever cleared and did not follow the procedure may have to answer questions why or why not. And that is how far we can really go. I think there is so much to look at, I don’t want to draw conclusions…because we’re looking at so many things - international law, the law here, the practice", said Kayima.
While investigations into the illegal possession of military equipment are ongoing, police detectives have concluded the case file of alleged torture and mistreatment of the wife. The file which is based on a complaint filed early last week has been sent to the Entebbe resident state attorney for sanctioning.
This is not the first time Rogers is in trouble with the law in Uganda. In March 2017, Aviation Police and Immigration officers at Entebbe airport arrested him and confiscated a rifle which he is alleged to have brought into the country illegally.
At the time, Entebbe resident state attorney advised police to keep custody of the gun but release the suspect since he had yet to commit any crime at the time of arrest. For a person to bring a gun into Uganda, they must be licensed both to import and be in possession of the firearm. Rogers is also being investigated by Immigration for being in possession of an expired passport.
According to Kaitesi, Rogers is always boastful of having enough connections in the police and army and enough money to bribe his way out of trouble.