Saturday, April 17We Break the News

UGANDA: Man defrauds millions from Ugandans claiming to be a URA clearing agent.

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In December 2018, Batte Kasim Abdul, who claimed to be a clearing agent with Intra Cargo, informed a client (complainant) that Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) was going to auction some vehicles.

The suspect told the complainant about the availability of two vehicles, a Toyota Harrier and a Sahara Pick-up, both in good condition. Batte, dressed up in a white shirt emblazoned with a Uganda Revenue Authority logo and customs pips (an imitation of the URA customs officers’ uniform), informed the client that he works in the Commissioner Customs Office.

He then took the complainant to a place in Nakawa, near MUBS and generated assessments for the complainant. However, the assessments he issued the complainant were for payment of income tax.

Batte then first collected UGX 1,200,000 from the complainant and after some time, he was given an additional UGX 200,000 as a fee for registration number plates for each vehicle.

Batte was on Monday 27th January 2020 arrested through the aid of the complainant and preliminary findings indicate that he works with a clique to defraud people with the false promise to help them secure vehicles and other goods being auctioned by URA.

“The group takes pictures of the items and sometimes bring the clients to the premises of URA. We have established that Batte has owned the fake URA uniform since 2015. We also found him in possession of counterfeit URA payment slips with serial reference numbers; 436, 437, 438 and 439,” URA said in a statement.

URA said Batte is set to be produced in court and charged accordingly.

“Other victims of this suspected fraudster are encouraged to come out and seek justice. The Public is urged to remain vigilant and to always visit URA Offices whenever they have any inquiries on any of our services. The public is further encouraged to swiftly report cases of fraudsters to the nearest URA office or Police station so that such unscrupulous persons are put away,” the tax body added.

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