Chinese conned Shs500 million by PS Mugume impersonator
Posted Tuesday, March 12 2013 at 14:34
The suspected impersonator (name withheld due to legal concerns) contacted the Chinese investors on phone claiming that Uganda Investment Authority had vacant land in Namanve and he would help them get it.
Special Investigations Unit police have arrested a man who allegedly impersonated the Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary and conned Shs529 million (US$200,000) from Chinese investors.
The suspect, who is now detained at SIU, allegedly impersonated Permanent Secretary, Mr James Mugume, and demanded US$200000 (ShS529m) as a kickback to help the Chinese investors to get land in Namanve Industrial Area.
Police spokesperson, Ms Judith Nabakooba, said the suspected impersonator (name withheld due to legal concerns) contacted the Chinese investors on phone claiming that Uganda Investment Authority had vacant land in Namanve and he would help them get it.
“The investors complained to us and we embarked on an investigation that led to his arrest. Our SIU officers are still carrying out a search to recover the stolen money,” Ms Nabakooba said.
Ms Nabakooba said they are yet to record Mr Mugume’s statement, which will be important in the prosecution of the suspect.
Ms Beata Chelimo, the SIU Commandant, said they are to charge the suspect with obtaining money by false pretence.
Cases of obtaining money by false pretence especially through impersonation are on the rise.
Recently, a man impersonated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sam Kuteesa, and conned over Shs200m from investors.
Conmen are penetrating all sectors from online forex to land and school bursaries.
Last week, police were investigating three suspected directors of a real estate company, Shumkho Construction Company, that allegedly obtained goods and services worthy Shs4 billion from at least 15 local companies through false pretence.
Obtaining money by false pretence is the third most committed offence in the country with 7,400 cases reported annually.
The maximum jail sentence for the offender, on conviction, is five years.
Ms Nabakooba said weak laws are impeding efforts to fight the crime.