Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 16 people are locked up in various police stations in Kampala following their arrest for lottery fraud over the weekend.
The suspects are Rhinex Mugerwa, Patrick Mubiru, Patrick Nsubuga Patrick, Ronald Lukwago, Solomon Luwaga, Brian Mukisa, Samuel Harenzi, Ashraf Lubogo and Reagan Senyonga. Others are Sula Mujabi Kabangala, Nicholas, Ziwa Edrine Semakula, James Bilimuye, Alex Byaruhanga and Omar Latifah.
The suspects were netted in an operation led by Thomas Kasimo, the Commandant of Crime Intelligence. The operation was prompted by complaints from people who had fallen victim to the phone tricksters.
The suspects would reportedly call their victims under the guise of being employees from telecom companies claiming that they had won prizes in a raffle. Kasimo’s team first tracked phone calls made to various people including mobile money operators. It was established that most of the tricksters were based in Katwe –Kevina, which led to the operation.
Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, said the fraudsters call their victim, saying they have won huge amounts of money, a car or flat television from companies such as MTN. The suspects thereafter guide their victims to send them money as a commitment fee before they pick their prizes.
According to Enanga, away from winning lottery tricks, they also call people who have relatives abroad claiming that their people have sent them packages, which need to be cleared at the Airport.
The Crime Intelligence team recovered 36 mobile phones and 14 sim cards from the suspects that were being used to call victims. The group also had lists of names of various mobile money companies in Uganda.
Police say the suspects switch off their phones soon after receiving money from the unsuspecting victims.