The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Serial Conmen Held After Duping 3,000

Police in Kampala are holding Simon Bayego, a suspected fraudster, who reportedly conned over 3,000 Ugandans out of millions of shillings.

He cajoled them with promises of well-paying jobs. Bayego is alleged to have set up a website www.childafrica.tk where unsuspecting victims were asked to deposit between Shs 30,000 and Shs 300,000 in application and registration fees, depending on the type of job and how urgently one needed it.

Bayego reportedly advertised jobs in the local dailies, borrowing an identity similar to that of a non-governmental organisation - Child Africa, whose actual website is www.childafrica.org. The victims were then asked to pay the registration fee through the mobile money transfer. However, after receiving the money, Bayego would send his victims on a wild goose chase before switching off his phone.

Bayego's scam finally caught up with him when police picked him up from the New Vision offices, after he went to place another advert to lure more victims. He now faces charges of impersonation and obtaining money by false pretence, and could appear before the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate's court this week.

"Our investigations have proven that the serial number of the phone Bayego has been using for mobile money is the one that they arrested him with," Kampala Metropolitan police spokesman Idi Ibn Senkumbi said.

Child Africa's Executive Director Rino Solberg said they only learnt of Bayego's scam after some of his victims accessed their website.

"I don't know this man who is tarnishing my organisation. Since he is with Police, they will deal with him," Solberg said.

Bayego denies the allegations.

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