Detectives from Criminal Investigations Directorate-CID are hunting for a fraudster who has collected an unspecified amount of money in millions of shillings from a number of police officers for attending a non-existent training in Switzerland.
The fraudster targeted police officers attached to the Directorate of Police Medical Services claiming that they were selected for a trip to represent police in Geneva, Switzerland for a healthcare leadership training course organized by the Swiss police in January 2022.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said that the fraudster disguised as the director medical services, using a landline similar to those of police and contacted different District Police Commanders, asking to speak with police medical personnel at different police stations.
The unsuspecting District Police Commanders, without any basic verification to confirm the authenticity of the order requiring them to submit their personnel to a process requiring them to leave the country, then summoned their personnel to speak to the higher authorities.
The officers were informed that they had been selected for the trip in Geneva and their passport details were needed.
“Our officers have fallen victim, somebody used a landline that is similar to those that we use, and then posed as a director, and once he could establish that the officer he is talking to doesn’t have a passport, he would put up a request of about 600,000 Uganda shillings to process a passport on behalf of him or her,” Enanga said. Like their DPC, an undisclosed number of officers from police health facilities also complied with the order from an unverified source and made payments which were not receipted.
Enanga declined to tell the number of police officers who were defrauded in the simple con scheme, saying the fraudster is still being hunted to face the law.
Police has subsequently warned the general public to be cautious especially during this festive season that attracts fraudsters.
“Even members of the public are being defrauded during this period, fraudsters come with all sorts of tricks and then convince you and get to defraud victims,” Enanga added.
Last year, a one Jackson Owere was remanded to prison on charges of obtaining money by false pretense from unsuspecting police officers whom he was promising promotions and transfers to areas of their choice. He was posing as a senior police officer from the office of Inspector General of Police-IGP.
Since last week, police have so far arrested over 35 suspects across the country who have been participating in different frauds.
Most of these were picked up from Eastern region of the country. CID has charged them with offences of being in possession of counterfeited money, duplicating currencies, and fraud.