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Six arrested in botched gold deal

By Simon Masaba

Added 22nd June 2017 09:41 AM

The suspects were paraded before the media at Jinja Road Police Station in Kampala

Six arrested in botched gold deal

Raymond Tawet Kambale and Frank Ngarukiye who were arrested for allegedly conning an Iranian businessman. Photo by Eria Luyimbazi

The suspects were paraded before the media at Jinja Road Police Station in Kampala


Police has arrested six suspects, including four Congolese and two Ugandan nationals in a botched $97,000 (about sh348m) gold deal.

Authorities said the suspects lured an Iranian national, Tahanpour Masoud Mahdi, holder of passport number B30764450 into Uganda and fleeced him.

Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) spokesperson, Vincent Ssekate, paraded the suspects before the media at Jinja Road Police Station in Kampala, where they are held over the offence of obtaining money by false pretence.

He identified the suspects as Frank Ngarukihe and Sodeh Carol, both Ugandans. Others were Asan Ferusi, Jawid Kawayi, Raymond Kasereke and Patient Bula, all Congolese nationals.

During the press conference, Ssekate said the suspects drove Mahdi to test the 10kg gold for purity, at Nile Melting Plant in Konge, Makindye division.

After testing, Mahdi made a $97,000 down payment but later he (Mahdi) was driven back to the hotel they had checked in earlier, as the victim calmly waited for the gold to cool and ease transportation. That was the last he saw the dealers.

"Hours later when he returned to pick the gold, he was denied entry to the said plant and telephone numbers of the dealers had been switched off, prompting the victim to report the matter to Police," said Ssekate.

Detectives attached to CID tracked and arrested the suspects. By press time the operatives were combing the homes of the suspects in Luwafu, on the outskirts of Kampala.

Ssekate warned the public on the increasing cases involving con artists in which millions are stolen from unsuspecting victims in bogus gold deals.

Without revealing the exact amount, Ssekate said business people lose colossal sums in bogus deals.

Ssekate said Ugandan con artists have mastered the art and work in cahoots with Congolese nationals.

"Congo is a renowned gold hub. Once they involve a Congolese national in a bogus deal, it becomes a matter of time for the victim to pay them," said Ssekate.

He said the suspects target foreigners especially from, Dubai, Singapore, Canada and Belgium.

Last year Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) suspended Col. Felix Kulayigye from the office of the National Political Commissar over his conduct after his niece reported to him that she had been robbed of gold that she had purchased from a Congolese businessman.

Kulayigye's woes started in June last year, when his niece Betty Murungi, contacted him and reported the theft of 2kg of gold she had allegedly purchased from a Congolese businessman.

Murungi and the businessman then went to Matrich Holdings and wanted the gold tested for purity. The gold was found to be genuine following the tests.

Murungi then negotiated with the Congolese businessman and they agreed a sum of $60,000 (about Shs200m) but she didn't have the full amount and instead paid $50,000.

She left with the businessman together with the gold to collect the balance but returned a short while later complaining that she had been robbed.

She demanded that the company give her the gold. It was then that she called Kulayigye who allegedly came in with army and police officers and raided the offices arresting three workers.

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