UPDF officer accused of fraud
Posted Tuesday, January 8 2013 at 02:00
Distressed. Army officials say action will be taken against the suspect for disturbing the distressed veterans.
A UPDF captain at the Masindi Artillery Division was on Friday arrested for allegedly extorting money from veterans in mid-western region.
The suspect was arrested in Hoima Town by UPDF veterans led by Sgt. Charles Busaja, the chairperson of Hoima Veterans Association.
They accused him of conning them of money in the pretext of helping them obtain their gratuity.
According to Sgt. Busaja, the suspect placed announcements over all radio stations in Hoima, calling them for a meeting at the Resident District Commissioner’s office in Hoima Town to iron out their gratuity anomalies.
The ex-service men claim that the soldier instead solicited for money from them, promising to speed up processing of the claims.
“He called the veterans who received and those who did not receive their gratuity to sort out the matter so that they could get their money.”
“However, suspicion arose about his authenticity when we came to learn that he had asked the desperate veterans to pay between Shs70,000 and Shs80,000 for their gratuity to be processed,” Sgt. Busaaja said.
Veterans demanded that he avails them an introduction letter from the army general headquarters authorising him to carry out the exercise, which he reportedly failed to produce.
Irate veterans arrested him and handed him to Hoima Police Station.
However, the midwestern regional police spokesperson, Ms Lydia Tumushabe, said the suspect was transferred to Masindi Army Barracks for action.
“The suspect has been taken to Masindi Army Barracks so that action is taken against him for the alleged uncouth act that he has purportedly done against the distressed veterans,” Ms Tumushabe said.
This newspaper, however, did not get the soldier for comment.
Meanwhile, the regional police commander of Rwizi Region (formerly Southwestern), Mr Martin Abilu, paraded three suspected robbers arrested by police on the Mbarara-Isingiro road on Friday with a loaded gun.
He said one of the suspects was dressed in a UPDF uniform and comes from Kazo in Kiruhura District.
Mr Abilu said the suspect tried to shoot at the police, but was overpowered and disarmed.
The other suspects hail from Rubaya Kashari and Ishaka in Bushenyi.
The three had allegedly been staying at a lodge in Kizungu suburb in Mbarara Municipality for more than two weeks.
They reportedly registered as intelligence officers.
Police also arrested the manager of the lodge for failure to report the suspected criminals and not producing his guests’ book to police for verification as required by district security officials.