The Police Directorate of Criminal Investigations has opened investigations into reports of fraud by officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration control.
The investigations which were ordered by the Minister of Internal Affairs Gen Jeje Odong followed increased complaints by foreigners that they were being charged exorbitant visa fees.
According to investigating officers, more than 200 foreigners have filed complaints to the Ministry after realizing that they paid two to three times the cost of a visa.
For instance, while a tourist visa costs 190,000 Shillings, the investigations revealed that the officials were charging 560,000 Shillings.
A reliable source in police who spoke on condition of anonymity says that a general inquiry file has since been opened. "We have opened the file. We have complaints from the Ministry but now we need the victims to come and record statements," the source said.
While the Directorate of Citizen and Immigration acknowledges receiving complaints on illegal visa charges, they say the victims have been getting the visas through informal channels.
The Acting Director Marcelino Bwesigye says the tourists need to be warned of existing scam sites which charge exorbitant fees or defraud them.
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The official Electronic Visa application Portal for Uganda is www.visas.immigration.go.ug. This portal provides various types of visas at different costs.
Diplomatic Visas are free of charge, the ordinary tourist visa costs 183,000 shillings, East Africa Tourist Visa 367,000 Shillings, a transit visa 183,000, multiple entry visas for 6 months is 367,000 shillings and so are those for 12 months while that for 24months costs 550,000 Shillings.