Police in Luweero District are investigating circumstances under which traders in the area were allegedly conned of their money in a suspected fake credit scheme in Wobulenzi Town.
Managers of AFCAF Foster Families Sacco, who opened business last month, reportedly convinced the traders to deposit some money before they got the loans.
More than 50 traders claim they each deposited more than Shs300,000 expecting to get a loan of Shs2 million but found the Sacco offices and all its phone contacts switched off last week.
“Police have recorded statements from some traders as investigations continue. These people closed the office and switched off all the contact phone numbers they gave to their customers,” Mr Topher Gimei, the district police officer in-charge of criminal investigations, said on Tuesday.
“We have detained two people who were recruited to help mobilise the traders but the prime suspects are still at large,” he added.
Mr Robert Bbosa, a trader, claims to have deposited Shs300,000 to get Shs2 million as loan repayable in a period of one year, said he had been assured that the money was from State House and available to traders.
“The Reverend told us that we do not require ‘you to deposit with us land titles because the money is from State House,’ ” Mr Bosa quoted the suspect as saying.
Ms Margaret Nakaye, another trader, who claims to have initially deposited Shs45,000, said a man convinced them the money was supposed to be loaned to the poor, widows and traders.
“I deposited the little money which I had managed to save from my business waiting to get Shs1 million. Now all of it is gone,” she said.
It is alleged the traders were told to deposit the money so that the loans are processed at once.
They were supposed to receive the money last week but found the offices closed.
The Luweero Town Council LC3 chairperson, Mr Sabastian Ssebagala, told the Daily Monitor that the traders had rushed to his office hoping to get help after discovering that they had been conned by people claiming to be attached to State House.
“These have had similar cases were parents have told to pay money to obtain bursaries which are not available. The mentioned credit scheme did not seek permission to operate business in Wobulenzi Town because they are not registered anywhere with the Town Council offices,” he said.
“We advise our people to always seek guidance before surrendering their money to such fraudulent organisations. We got information that these people could have conned money from more than 100 people,” Mr Ssebagala added.