Following a public outcry over the increase in cybercrime cases by fraudsters, Nansana Police conducted an intelligence-led operation in Nansana West 2A Kibulooka areas on April 23, against organized criminal gangs selling fake minerals, electronic fraud and offensive communication.
Deputy Central Police (CP) Spokesperson Nabakka Claire revealed that there is an increase in cases of cybercrime by people posing as telecommunication networks, adding that using the internet offers crooks additional opportunities to reach potential victims and obtain their personal information.
“The absurd part is that most victims suffer quietly without reporting. We have heard and received reports of scammers calling individuals and telling them that their SIM card lines are not registered and they are offering to help you register from a computer, claiming the card is going to be blocked or suspended . Once you fall into their trap and agree to sign up, they will walk you through a convoluted/complex process and you won’t realize when your money on your phone has been taken,” Nabakka said.
Police have arrested nine suspects and recovered alleged stolen items including 24 phones, suspected fake minerals, a laptop suspected of being used in cybercrime, copies of land sale contracts, a Visa ATM card, marijuana and a list of people who would be their victims.
“It was established that the crime scene was used as a conference for the gang to carry out prank calls to unsuspecting victims. The suspects make their victims believe that these calls are from telecom companies like MTN, Airtel and different government institutions and ministries before asking for their financial details,” she revealed.
The recovered phones have since been submitted to the Forensic Services Branch for analysis to help police identify some of the victims.
The gang is estimated to number twenty (20) and comprises of men and women who usually congregate at the home/bar of a certain Mama Favour, believed to be in South Sudan.
Arrested suspects are held at Nansana PS, as those arrested include;
- Mbabazi Sam, resident of Nansana west 2 A, at tel 0703285353.de Kabale
- Mbabazi Welberforce, resident of West Nansana at tel 0753483731 from Rukiga.
- Kwarija Welber, resident of Nansana West on tel 0788299979, from Kabale, student at the Global Institute Makerere, pursuing a course in graphic design and animation.
- Emoit George, resident of Buloba de Tororo.
- Tumusiime Godfrey alias Kabila, from Kamwenge (commander)
- Muhumuza Talent, Resident of Nansana West 1, Rukungiri.
- Namyalo Mercy alias Atuhumuza, resident of Kibuye on tel 0774228424 from Busenyi
- Bahame Frank, resident of Bujuko de Ntungamo on tel 0705658530.
- Mugisha Victor, resident of Nabweru de Busenyi on tel 0759230828.
Nabakka further warned the public to stay alert and always be alert “because no telecom operator can switch off your phone without going through the proper procedure/authorization, maybe when you are under investigation” .
“Since this fraud is customer-driven, the customer unknowingly sends money to the scammers, we will work with UCC and continue to educate customers,” Nabakka noted.