Uganda Police:No Ransom Was Paid For Freeing American Tourist and Driver As Hunt For Gunmen Still Continues
American tourist, Kimberly Sue Endicott and her driver, Jean Paul Milenge from Wildfrontiers who were kidnapped on Tuesday at Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park and were on Sunday found alive by security.
Police has said the operation to arrest the people behind the kidnap of the American tourist who was freed on Sunday together with her guide is ongoing.
The kidnappers had requested for a $500,000(shs1.8billion) ransom but reports indicated that Kimberly’s family negotiated with the kidnappers before sending the ransom money through the tour company before the duo was released.
Quoting unnamed sources,the New York Times and ABC News said a ransom had been paid before the duo was released by the kidnappers.
Addressing a weekly press briefing, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga denied there was any money paid to the kidnappers as is being alleged by many.
“No ransom was paid to anyone. Police and the Ugandan government didn’t give anyone ransom because it is not our policy. If you think we are telling lies, you should ask the US embassy,”Enanga told journalists at police headquarters in Naguru.
On Sunday, the Tourism minister, Ephraim Kamuntu praised security for the job weldone in finding and rescuing the duo.
“The capacity of Ugandan security, know -how and strength enabled them to be rescued safe and sound.”
However, when asked about the whereabouts of the kidnappers, the minister could not divulge more information saying details would be shared later.
“We shall not do it until time is appropriate and those details will be given.”
Enanga told journalists that the operation to arrest the gunmen who had taken the duo hostage is still ongoing.
“At this stage we cannot provide specific details on how the rescue mission was accomplished, for future operational security and tactical reasons,” Enanga said.
“The operation to arrest the culprits is ongoing with the close coordination of our counterparts from the DRC, whom we have been working with for the last 5 days.”
He noted that later today, the American tourist will be handed over to the US Ambassador by the Inspector General of Police, Okoth Ochola.