Fourteen people, mainly students, have lost at least Shs8m after they were each defrauded between Shs900,000 and Shs1m in a job scam in Jinja, Butaleja, Kayunga, Soroti, Kamuli, Arua and Pallisa districts.
Mr James Mubi, the Kiira region police spokesperson, said they are holding 23-year-old man, with others still at large, for allegedly masterminding the scam under a non-existent company called ‘Global Parks’.
“When we carried out intelligence, we realised that there was no such company and after several victims reported, Police in Bugembe was able to arrest him as we hunt for others,” Mr Mubi said.
He added: “We have 14 complainants and these are majorly students who lost about Shs7.6m. The racket was initially in Soroti City but was chased and spread to other cities like Jinja, Arua and Mbarara. Let the public be alert.”
Victims speak out
Butaleja District resident Ms Hellen Mirembe said “the suspect, promising to offer her a scholarship and a job, conned her of Shs1.2m meant to enroll her for a course.”
“He [suspect] rang my father who sent them the money. Upon receiving it, he suggested that I go to Jinja but there was no clear office and he kept dodging me,” she told Monitor on Tuesday.
“Later, when I needed a refund and he wasn’t forthcoming, I filed a case at Bugembe Police Station and he was arrested on Sunday. We are more than 24 victims,” Ms Mirembe added.
Mr Juma Wapamba, another victim from Kayunga District, said he was approached by the suspect on March 24, and promised an IT job in Soroti.
He says he was told to go with a mattress, blanket, National Identity Card, and Shs200,000 for rent and food.
“Initially, I had no money. So I sold everything I had but upon reaching Soroti, I was asked for an additional Shs900,000 which I couldn’t raise. The worst part is after getting the money, there was no job yet we were more than 12 boys,” he said.