So far, four suspected members of Mugarura’s group have been arrested. These are Moses Eletu, Demick Rwothomia, Patrick Mwebembezi and Arim. Senior Commissioner of Police, Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson said the five are being charged with 4 counts of personation contrary to section 381 of the Penal Code Act, counts of obtaining money by false pretense contrary to section 305 of the Penal Code Act and conspiracy to defraud contrary to section 309 of the Penal Code Act.
Mugarura, who is accused of ‘commanding’ a group of people who have been
conning civil servants and other unsuspecting members of the public with job,
promotion and overseas study opportunities for the last 12 years, has been
arrested in clandestine joint security hunt.
weeks ago, Mugarura allegedly conned a number of civil servants with overseas study opportunities and security agencies decided to join hands in order to put an
end to his scams in which an unspecified number of people have lost huge amounts
according to security would use landlines like 0414673797 or Mobile telephone
lines like 0776-318856 to call his victims claiming to be working with ministries
or a state house committee tasked to search for people to be promoted or get opportunities
for further studies.
instances, Mugarura and his accomplices would masquerade as administrators in
the offices of Commissioner General of Prisons, Vision Group, Bank of Uganda,
Leader of Opposition or business companies owned by moguls like Patrick
convincing people to send him money, Mugarura would sometimes ask the victims
to present their documents. He would send his accomplices to collect such
documents mostly outside and rarely inside the premises, something that could
make their victims think they were dealing with genuine people.
group would tell people that the available opportunities were very competitive
and they needed to send some money in order to stand a better chance. That is
how many people ended up becoming victims.
the numerous outcries, cyber units from Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence,
Internal Security Organisation, Crime Intelligence and Criminal Investigations
Directorate decided to review all the phone calls that had been made to civil
servants and other members of the public.
team collected all the spots where these calls were being made from. Days after
a hunt for the group had been launched, Mugarura himself made calls to forensic
and scene of crime officers with opportunities to study in UK, South Africa and
military and police cyber teams had already spotted areas where the phone calls
were being made from, covert operatives were swiftly deployed and he was
arrested. Security has not revealed the exact place where Mugarura was picked
since they are still hunting for all his accomplices.
So far, four
suspected members of Mugarura’s group have been arrested. These are Moses Eletu,
Demick Rwothomia, Patrick Mwebembezi and Arim. Senior Commissioner of Police Fred Enanga, said the five are being charged with 4
counts of personation contrary to section 381 of the Penal Code Act, counts of
obtaining money by false pretense contrary to section 305 of the Penal Code Act
and conspiracy to defraud contrary to section 309 of the Penal Code Act.
obtain personally identifiable information obtained from a number of sources
including websites of MDAs, like immigration foreigners with deportation; URA
for tax-related scams, NSSF for scams on benefits, UCC with threats of sim card
de-registration and other mobile telephone networks, lawyers threatening legal
action etc. As part of the scam victims were convinced to part with money,”
//cue in “he
Cue out “…like
activeness, according to security increased during the two Covid-19 lockdowns
where people were operating from home. The Uganda Communications Commission
(UCC) communication officer, Rebecca Mukite, explains that some of the
vulnerabilities that have enabled the growth in fraud include personal weakness where someone has not
been part of any competition but then go ahead to accept stories of ‘you
have won this and that’.
//cue in “a
lot of people…//
Cue out “…vulnerabilities,”//
further highlighted the loopholes being explored like unverified
numbers where active numbers are registered using wrong credentials. She
encouraged the public to verify the numbers registered using their national ID
“Report to the
police immediately when your phone is stolen," Mukite said. "This will enable you to get
a police report that you can use to block the line. Unblocked sim cards from
stolen phones increase vulnerability.”
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.