The intelligence arm of the Uganda Police Force has arrested four Cameroonians and three Ugandans suspected to be part of a cartel that is circulating fake local and international currencies.
The crime intelligence team commanded by Assistant Commissioner of Police Thomas Kasimo, launched a hunt for the fraudsters in December last year until last weekend when they successfully netted seven suspects from various parts of Kampala.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said that seven suspects were arrested while circulating counterfeits at Cham Towers-Kampala Road, Crystal Valley Hotel in Mengo, Nsambya and Lukuli in Makindye.
Enanga said that the team first arrested Elengu Konvasky, a Cameroonian who entered Uganda disguising as a dealer in minerals. Elengu was pocked from Cham Towers and led the police to his home in Lukuli, Makindye Division.
At Elengu’s home, police recovered 560 replicas of 50,000 Shillings counterfeit notes and 105 notes of USD 100 notes. In addition, police picked five bottles of chemicals used to make counterfeits. Elengu’s passports and other documents indicate that he had masqueraded as a mineral trader in other countries such as Burundi, Tanzania, Nigeria and Austria.
Elengu’s arrest led to the netting of his other suspected Cameroonian accomplices who include Ansu Ambe alias Jean-Paul Mazembe, Solomon Ebayo and Oliver Tanui. According to immigration documents obtained by police, Mazembe arrived in Uganda on October 14 for a two months visit which was ending on December 14 last year.
Crime intelligence officers also conducted operations at Crystal Valley Hotel in Mengo where a Ugandan, Wilson Mugume alias Mugisha was arrested with 16 black currency notes and a seal of United States currency security.
Police proceeded and arrested one Godfrey Beihanga, who was found with counterfeits of Uganda, DRC and US money notes. Beihanga in his statement said he was working for a businessman based in Ndeeba whom police are pursuing.
Amina Nakigudde, a businesswoman in Kampala and a born of Kiboga town council, in Kiboga District, has also been arrested. Nakigudde was found with 945 fake 50,000 shillings notes and 102 fake USD 100 notes. Nakigudde was allegedly circulating counterfeits using a one Masagazi Tom, a Boda-boda rider, who has also been arrested.
In her statement at Special Investigations Division, Kireka, Nakigudde said she bought the duplicate notes from Daniel Ssenyonjo, a resident of Mukono. Police are now hunting for Ssenyonjo.
Enanga said the counterfeiters were targeting retail shops where they could give out 50,000 notes to unsuspecting traders and in return receive a balance of genuine money.
Enanga also explained that dealers in fake money exchange five million Shillings of fake money with 1 million of genuine currency. Police said a 400 per cent profit-making has seen many people accept such risky trade.