Police recover a number of items from the suspect, including stamps, suspected forged passports and passport photos, a hammer and a machete.
Jamir Mabiriizi was arrested by Flying Squad operatives on Saturday for allegedly being in possession of forged Ugandan and foreign passports. (Credit: Stuart Yiga)
KAMPALA - The Police Flying Squad have arrested a man for allegedly being in possession of forged passports and visas.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, told New Vision investigations into the matter are underway.
He also identified the suspect as Jamir Mabiriizi, a resident of Kiteetikka village in Nangabo-Kasangati sub-county, Wakiso district.
“We are investigating the matter to ascertain how he forges these passports and visas and we want him to help us get other accomplices so that they are brought to book.
Owoyesigyire further revealed that upon Mabiriizi's arrest on Saturday, Police recovered two suspected military caps, dozens of suspected forged passports in different names, stamp of the consulate of the Republic of Cyprus, two ink pads, two wooden stamps holders, passport photos of different individuals, suspected forged stamps of the immigration department, SACCOS books, a hammer, panga (machete) and a small phone.
Meanwhile, the Kiteetikka area defense secretary, Cirus Mutesaasira, told New Vision that the suspect has been collecting some of these genuine passports from various people in the guise of getting them lucrative jobs abroad.
By the time of writing this, Police had preferred charges of forgery, theft, impersonation, being in possession of government stores and firearms, among others.
The case was registered under SD;17/30/11/2018.
“Afande [Officer] I am not a bad person. Actually, there is a man I know who is in possession of a gun, I can lead you to him on condition that you exonerate me in this mess,” appealed Mabiriizi.
So far, investigations indicate that Mabiriizi has also been aiding non-Ugandans, especially South Sudanese, Rwandans, Burundians and Kenyans in acquiring Ugandan passports and other vital documents.
“For example, we found him in possession of passport number B0532560 registered under the names of Ali Muhamed Mukhtar, portraying him to be a Ugandan while as he is not," said a source.
"He forges visas for countries such as Burundi, South Sudan, South Korea and Kenya. We need to find out how he does all these forgeries and how long he has been doing it."
Visas found in some of the passports
It is also alleged that some of these forged passports are used by wrong elements while registering or replacing their lost mobile phone lines in different telecommunication companies, since it is one of the prerequisites.
This has come at the time when the immigration department, under the internal affairs ministry, has just unveiled a new plan to replace the machine-readable passports (MRP) with the e-passport.
With the introduction of the e-passports, the internal affairs ministry spokesperson, Jacob Siminyu, is optimistic that this will enhance security on travel because MRP does not have biometric features that can identify the passport with the genuine owner as the e-passport does.
The MRP holds only traditional text information, a photo and the ghost image.
Since Uganda is the only East African nation that is yet to shift from the MRP to issuance of the EAC e-passport, this will make work difficult for some people like Mabiriizi who have been surviving on forging passports.