2 December 2012

Uganda: Fraudsters Change Tactics - Police

Fraudsters are increasingly fleecing people who lose their valuables under the guise of having recovered them, Police has revealed.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi on Saturday noted that these fraudsters pick details of the lost valuables in adverts placed in the media.

"These conmen use the information in the advert to describe the lost item and then tell the victims that they would be glad to give it back to them but they're upcountry prompting the victims to deposit transport fare onto their mobile money accounts," Ssenkumbi said.

He said these adverts are normally accompanied with promises of big rewards for those who recover the lost items. He identified the most common items as vehicle registration number plates, passports, identity cards, land titles, bags, laptops, driving permits and mobile phones. Ssenkumbi said the fraudsters usually request for sums of money not more than sh200,000.

He said some claim to be policemen who have received a lost item from a 'good Samaritan'. "The conmen refer their victims to policemen in room 14 and 15 at CPS to reclaim their lost items only to learn that the rooms are just stores," Ssenkumbi noted.

He said these conmen are hard to nab and subsequently prosecute because they throw away the simcards and sometimes mobile phones immediately after committing the crime.

Ssenkumbi said they receive at least seven such cases every week at CPS. According to police archives 7, 413 cases of obtaining money by false pretence were recorded last year alone.

Meanwhile Police in Kampala have arrested a security guard in connection with the gruesome murder of another guard on Saturday.

Bright Habasa attached to Security 2000 with headquarters in Muyenga was arrested over the murder of Tweisimire Jamiru, 23 from Rukungiri district who was also attached to the same security company.

Police found the deceased's body between Sunset Plaza and Pioneer Mall with his mouth tied with a brown cloth. Police also recovered the deceased's gun at the crime scene.

The suspect is believed to have connived with thugs in a foiled attempt to steal from shops at Pioneer mall only to be blocked by the deceased.

However police said the deceased was deployed to guard at Ivory plaza raising question of how he reached the crime scene.

Ssenkumbi said the perpetrators of the murder will be prosecuted once the investigations are concluded.

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