How man with dubious record acquired security job in Uganda

Monday February 18 2019

Accused.  Alseyed Ali Abdul Jabar, who is

Accused. Alseyed Ali Abdul Jabar, who is accused of human trafficking and fraud, among others. MONITOR PHOTO 

By Emma Mutaizibwa & William Kintu

In a video footage shot by a phone camera, a man is seen battering Barbara Naluwooza, who is demanding a refund of her money in the far-flung city of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
The stocky man in this footage shot by a cellphone is Alseyed Ali Abdul Jabar.
In 2015, Naluwooza wore the grin of a lottery winner when she left for Dubai to escape the apathy of unemployment in Uganda.
With its towering buildings and elegant roads, Dubai offered the allure of a well-paying job with several perks.
However by 2017, Naluwooza had spiritedly thrown herself into the clutches of a human trafficking cartel.
In 2016, Jabar, who was based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), posed as a hiring agent for a security firm. He allegedly conned about 30 girls of their funds
“So [Emmanuel] Atamba [Ugandan] took me to Ali Jabar’s office. I met with Ali Jabar and he told me that there was a job for Etisalat Telecommunications, and being one of the big leading telecommunication [firms] in the UAE, so we had to pay about 8,000 dirhams which is the equivalent of Shs8m,” reveals Naluwooza.
She was instead taken to a small office and handed over to an Indian man. She told Ali Jabar that this was not the deal she was promised.
“I approached and told him; ‘Ali, the offer you gave me is different. That is not Etisalat. Etisalat offices cannot look like that.’ So I told him that I needed my money back and I didn’t want to hear anything else,” Naluwooza says.
“So he opened the office and we entered inside and when I started demanding for the money, he asked me to get out,” she adds.
Ali Jabar told Naluwooza that if he found the money, he would call her.

Different shades.  A copy of one of Ali Jabar’s

Different shades. A copy of one of Ali Jabar’s passports, which shows he was born in Kyadondo. COURTESY PHOTO


“I told him I would not leave [his office] without my money and all the other girls and boys that were outside all came in, demanding their money. When I refused to move, he came out from the desk and hit me badly,” says Naluwooza.
Ali Jabar also turned to Becky Nakibuuka, who was recording the beatings on her cell-phone, and beat her before smashing her phone.
Naluwooza sustained a cut on her hand while Nakibuuka had a swollen face.
They later fled his office and went to a police station. “We went to Al Baraha Hospital [Dubai] and they told us to open up a case against him. Of course they needed some money for the court case. We did not have money at that time but the police continued to look for Ali,” reveals Naluwooza.

Accusations
Naluwooza says efforts to trace Ali Jabar in Dubai were futile. Maria Namatovu, whose real name has been concealed for security reasons, was out of employment when a Ugandan lady linked her to Ali Abdul Jabar. With her last savings, she paid Shs2 million to Ali to get a job in a security firm.
“I met a lady, who went by the name Keisa. Keisa told me they had security jobs, cleaning jobs and so on. So I told her that I would like to go to her office. She took me there and I met other nationals, including Nigerians and Cameroonians,” she says.
Namatovu reveals that Keisa introduced her to Jabar.
“She handed me over to Jabar; they told us the process and the procedure. We signed some documents with them. They told us within 18 days, the working visa would be out,” she narrates.
Namatovu says she paid the equivalent of Shs2m to Jabar for his role as a middleman.
However, her visa expired before she could get the job she was promised and returned to Uganda.
Nevertheless, three months after, she returned to Dubai after securing a three-month visa.
“I tried to look for Ali. Good enough, I found him in another new office. I found many Ugandan ladies and men and women from other countries. That is where I found these girls who were beaten badly,” reveals Namatovu.
Some of the victims, including Naluwooza and Nakibuuka, have since petitioned Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over Jabar’s activities.
In a May 15, 2018 letter to Ms Kadaga, Naluwooza and Nakibuuka write: “In April 2017, we learnt about a placement Agency located in Abuhail, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). We turned up at the agency at the end of April 2017. We met a man, who we later learnt was Ali Abdul Jabar, the managing director of the agency. We have learnt that he is now in Uganda. He was assisted in office work by a Ugandan by the names Atamba Emmanuel.”
The letter adds: “We paid money that he demanded for services of placing us for jobs. The following day, I was handed over to an Indian to take me to my prospective work place only to be taken to a strange address. On May 1, 2017, I returned to his office and told him I was opting out and demanded a refund of my money. I met Becky Nakibuuka and more than 30 other girls from Uganda but others from Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and other countries.”

Petition
“Madam Speaker, we wish to inform you that Mr Ali Abdul Jabar beat us up so badly that we sustained serious injuries. He then threw us out of his office. We both had to undergo treatment at our own cost since we did not have health insurance. Ali had knives that he menacingly brandished at us but the recordings were lost after he broke the mobile phone,” reads the letter.

Queries.  A copy of one of Ali Jabar’s

Queries. A copy of one of Ali Jabar’s passports, which shows he was born in Soroti.


Jabar later travelled to Uganda on a Yemeni passport. While in the country, he received three Ugandan passports, which the Daily Monitor has seen. It is not clear yet how he received these passports after his nationality was contested at the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration.
The bio-data on one of the passports claims Ali Jabar was born in Soroti while another reveals that he was born in Kyadondo.
Many of Jabar’s victims, including Namatovu, came to learn that he now lives in Uganda.
“I think about after six months, I heard that Ali was in Uganda as an investor. This is someone who has been [allegedly] conning Ugandans of their money in Dubai and now he is Uganda as an investor; it all did not make sense,” reveals Naluwooza.
Namatovu adds: “One of my colleagues that was beaten sent me a WhatsApp, asking whether I had received news of Ali Jabar being in Uganda? I could not believe it.”
The victims, who have filed a number of complaints with authorities, claim law enforcement officials have sat by as spectators to a travesty of justice.
Some of the victims have petitioned Interpol, the Kampala Central Police Station and the Internal Affairs ministry but no action has been taken.
Yet Jabar seems to always be a step ahead of law enforcement.
His ability to charm his way through powerful corridors of powers has handed him a licence to go about his business without fear of reprimand.
Daily Monitor has seen a letter authored and signed by the Internal Affairs minister, Gen Jeje Odongo, which grants Ali Jabar leeway to undertake security roles.

Ministry endorsement
The December 18, 2018 letter reads: “Alseyed Ali Abdul Jabar is a native Ugandan holding passport Number. B1597101. He works with the office of the Minister of Internal Affairs on security matters. Please assist wherever and whenever he seeks your help. NB: If in doubt contact the undersigned.”
Gen Jeje Odongo told Daily Monitor that he had earlier on ordered for the arrest of Jabar.
On May 8, 2018, officers from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Control in Kampala arrested him for the possession of multiple passports.
“He was arrested and handed over to CMI on allegations that he was a terrorist and human trafficker. CMI cleared him after verifying that all these allegations were not true,” said Gen Odongo, who met this journalist at his office on February 8.
When prodded, the minister revealed what prompted him to author a letter, which handed Jabar a security role.

“I have in the past served as an intelligence officer. One of the lessons I learned is that you need to bring those you are investigating closer to you,” he said.
Jabar’s telephone was either off or went unanswered on several occasions when we tried to contact him.
But on the night of February 8, he turned up at the Kampala Serena Conference Centre at 9pm but declined an interview, saying he needed to consult further. “I will give you the right story from A to Z. I can send you [the story] on WhatsApp and you start going through the story,” he said.

However, Jabar refused to respond to these allegations.
Highly placed sources told Daily Monitor that officials at the ministry are reluctant to be sucked into the crosshairs of such a sensitive matter because Jabar has a covert security assignment.

An internal memo at the ministry authored on August 15, 2018 reads: “Pending the retrieval of the hard-copy file of the applicant, I was able to obtain print-outs from the strong-room of the subject’s bio-data pages.”
According to the data on the bio data pages of passports no B1567101 and B1364892 AND B1238530, the subjects parents are stated as Abdul Jabar Al Seyed born in Soroti and the mother is stated as Fatum Hassan Okello born in Amuria.”

Queries.  One of Jabar’s passports with a

Queries. One of Jabar’s passports with a different year of issuance.

His parents
It further reads: “However, without the original physical file of the subject, I cannot conclude that the parents are actually Ugandans.”
However, Mr Abdul Latif, a councillor in Soroti Municipality, claims that Jabar was born in Soroti.

“Abdul Jabar is a born of Teso, he is a son of Teso. He even married a lady here called Fauzia, who is in Jinja. The biggest family of Abdul Jabar is in Bugiri,” said Mr Latif.
On August 30, 2017, the Director of Interpol, Mr Elly Womanya, through his officer, Anthony Kwesigwa, issued a notice to his Tanzanian counterpart, seeking Jabar alongside his accomplice Nelson Ndagyiyimana over embezzlement. It is alleged that Jabar had fled to Tanzania to escape arrest.

On September 14, 2017, another letter from the office of the commandant Aviation Police Entebbe reveals that Jabar and Ndagyiyimana were wanted over the theft of company funds worth $150,000.

“Upon learning that they are wanted, the said people are believed to have intentions of fleeing the country. The purpose of the letter is to request you, if seen, intercept, arrest and inform for collection,” reads a letter authored by Mr Johnson Dale, the commander CID in Kampala Metropolitan Police.

In December 2017, Jabar was detained at Kampala Central Police Station on charges of theft of $50,000 under police file no. KMP. GEF211/107.
However, it is not clear yet why Jabar was released from jail. Many of Jabar’s victims seek the day when justice will manifestly be delivered.

Human trafficking

Trend. In Uganda, police statistics indicate that at least 50 girls are trafficked everyday heading for the Middle East largely through porous border points. The risky lifestyle of human trafficking is yet to recede from public consciousness. Many Ugandan girls are sold into forced labour, domestic servitude or sexual slavery while others commit suicide to escape this torment.

Letter to speaker

Appeal. In a May 15, 2018 letter to Ms Kadaga, Naluwooza and Nakibuuka write: “In April 2017, we learnt about a placement Agency located in Abuhail, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). We turned up at the agency at the end of April 2017. We met a man, who we later learnt was Ali Abdul Jabbar, the managing director of the agency. We have learnt that he is now in Uganda. He was assisted in office work by a Ugandan by the names Atamba Emmanuel.”

The letter adds: “We paid money that he demanded for services of placing us for jobs. The following day, I was handed over to an Indian to take me to my prospective work place only to be taken to a strange address. On May 1, 2017, I returned to his office and told him I was opting out and demanded a refund of my money. I met Becky Nakibuuka and more than 30 other girls from Uganda but others from Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and other countries.”

“Madam Speaker, we wish to inform you that Mr Ali Abdul Jafar beat us up so badly that we sustained serious injuries. He then threw us out of his office. We both had to undergo treatment at our own cost since we did not have health insurance. Ali had knives that he menacingly brandished at us but the recordings were lost after he broke the mobile phone,” reads the letter.

Advertisement