Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three suspects are in police custody for conning a Centenary bank customer more than Shillings 18 million in dollar exchange scam in Kampala. Charles Twine, the Sspokesperson of the Criminal Investigations Directorate-CID identifies the suspects as Mpagi Denis, Akuli Umuru and a woman only identified as Aisha.
They are accused of defrauding a Centenary bank customer at Nansana branch in a fake dollar exchange scam on Thursday. According to police investigations, preliminary findings show that the suspects entered Nansana Centenary bank where Denis Mpagi approached the victim, whom police have declined not to mention for help to exchange his dollars for shillings.
As Mpagi was still convincing the victim, one of the suspects also approached her pretending to seek help to exchange his dollars. The victim then offered to help them find a forex bureau. As a result, the two suspects and their victim left for one forex-bureau in Nakulabye.
According to the victim’s statement, the suspects first exchanged US$250,000 of genuine currency. They moved out and they decided to make another exchange. Shortly after reaching outside, the fraudsters gave the victim two bundles of dollars for another exchange. She left them in the vehicle with her bag containing Shillings 18 Million she was supposed to bank and her phone.
“On the second exchange, now as excited as she was, she left them with her bag and the phone, but this time the two bundles of dollars she was given for the exchange turned out to be fake. When she returned outside, she found that they had varnished with her bag and everything,” Twine said.
According to Twine, the victim reported the case at Nakulabye police station. The Flying Squad believes that Mpagi is the ringleader of the group since he is named in a series of similar robberies around Kampala. According to police records, on August 13, 2020, Mpagi and his group defrauded a businesswoman, Justine Tumusime in Nansana Centenary Bank about Shillings 20 million in a similar style.
The same group also defrauded Annet Nampija of Shillings 1.5 Million and a phone valued at Shillings 800,000 outside a forex-bureau in Kampala on March 31, 2021. “At the time of their arrest in Nansana, police tracked their movements with the help of CCTV cameras and their phones, Flying squad found them with different exhibits including those that were stolen in past robberies,” Twine said.
He advised banks to strengthen their vigilance and protect their clients from fraudsters.