South Sudan authorities pursue Ugandan housemaid for theft of $5,000

South Sudan authorities pursue Ugandan housemaid for theft of $5,000
The suspect who allegedly stole $5,000 in South Sudan while working as a housemaid, Joan Oyella is currently being held at Kitgum Central Police Station

Kitgum, Uganda | URN | South Sudan authorities are demanding the extradition of a Ugandan housemaid who is reported to have stolen $5,000 (approx. 17.6 million Shillings) from her employer in Juba.

The suspect identified as Joan Oyella, a resident of Ayull cell in Pager division, Kitgum municipality is reported to have committed the crime while working as a housemaid for a South Sudan government dignitary in Juba.

It is reported that her employers discovered that the money was missing days after realizing that the girl had escaped from the home. The matter was reported to the police whose subsequent inquiries showed she had boarded a bus destined for Uganda.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner (RDC) William Komakech says that upon receiving the concern, security mounted a search that led to the arrest of the suspect. They also recovered 6.4 million Shillings which she had changed from Elegu border point in Amuru district.

According to Komakech, upon arrest and inquiries, the suspect admitted to stealing the money, although she claims it was only USD 2,400 (8.4 million Shillings and not USD 5,000 (17.6 million Shillings) as claimed by her former bosses. She is currently held at Kitgum Central Police Station.

Now authorities of South Sudan and the suspect’s former bosses who are travelling to Uganda over the incident are demanding that the Ugandan housemaid (the suspect) be handed over to them for general trial and subsequent prosecution in South Sudan where she committed the crime from.

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The South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) spokesperson Gen. Daniel Justin, says he wasn’t privy of the matter although he admits that the country’s laws and international protocols admit extraditions where a person is accused of committing a crime in another jurisdiction. The crime attracts a five-year jail sentence or a fine, according to the New Sudan Penal Code Act.

But the relatives of the accused are negotiating with the office of the Resident District Commissioner not to honor the request. A relative of the suspect who preferred anonymity says the mistrust of the justice systems in South Sudan has compelled them to make the request.

The Kitgum District Police Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigations Department Robert Oken says Ugandan authorities can only surrender any suspect to a foreign country upon fulfillment of all formal processes and possessions of sanctions from the Police Director Interpol and International Relations.