In 2018, about 354 cars were stolen from Kampala alone and most of them sold in Kenya, sources said Monday.
Uganda’s Daily Monitor said the increase in theft of old model cars in Uganda has been attributed to demand in Kenya for spare parts of vehicles manufactured before 2011.
Uganda allows importation of vehicles that were manufactured in 2004 and above yet Kenya allows importation of vehicles made in 2011 and above.
However, Kenya still has many vehicles that are older than 2011 which need spare parts that are becoming difficult to get on Kenyan market.
According to the directorates of criminal investigations and crime intelligence, the surge in theft of old model cars follows Kenya’s ban on importation of cars that were manufactured before 2011.
Mr Vincent Ssekate, the spokesperson of the two directorates, said the most of the stolen cars are dismantled and parts are taken to Kenya where they are assembled.
“There is an ongoing crackdown of criminals who steal older cars and sell them to their accomplices in Kenya. We have also set up a team to ensure that all the routes are monitored,” Mr Ssekate said yesterday.
He said they would revamp their cooperation with their Kenyan counterparts through the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation to curb the theft.
Until recently, most vehicles stolen in Uganda have been sold in DR Congo and South Sudan.
Police efforts against car thefts have been focused on routes on the western side of Uganda.