Police has arrested a local businessman for defrauding Ugandans of more than Shs 100 million in a US visa scam, The Rogue can reveal.
The man ostensibly told his victims that they were assured of visas because US embassy would be sympathetic to them if they state that their main reason for going to US is to bury basketball superstar Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, his daughter and seven other people died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning.
His death has led to a global outpouring of grief and sympathy especially on social media.
In Uganda, one shrewd businessman, who police has identified as Mufere Musoke, tried to take advantage of the death by conning unsuspecting Ugandans, particularly those who want to get US Visas.
Just hours after news of Bryant’s death became public, Mufere, according to a police source, went to Nasser Road in Kampala and printed some posters.
One of the posters which the Rogue has seen read: “For free visa for those who want to go to US to bury our hero, Briant (sic), call 078…..”
We have been told that the posters which he pasted on some streets of Kampala generated so much interest
Those who called his number, police said, were told to send “a consultation fee of Shs 50,000” vis mobile money to enable Musoke “oil” some people at the US embassy.
They were also directed to a fake website where they were told to fill a form after which they would print it out and deposit it at a location near the former Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB).
He also told them to read more about the life of the former basketballer such that when they go for interviews, they sound very informed about his life and exploits.
He also encouraged them to post messages on their social media pages expressing words of sympathy and condolences for the death of the basketballer, in case the US embassy officials checked the pages to verify their claims.
Police suspects this partly explains why many people, including those who can’t spell the word “basketball”, suddenly took to facebook to express their sympathy for the loss of Bryant and his daughter.
In total, at least 2,000 people responded to the advert netting Muferere a cool Shs 100 million.
Mufere was nabbed after a telecom company became suspicious about the volumes of transactions on his mobile phone. Each time large amounts of money would be deposited on his mobile money number, Mufere would rush to withdraw it.
The telecom officials, fearful that their platform was being used to carry out fraud quickly alerted the police which swung into action.
After tracking his phone, police arrested Mufere on Nasser Road as he withdrew Shs 2 million from his phone. He is being kept at an undisclosed location.
Meanwhile police has urged those who fell victims to this scam to report to the nearest police station.
We have been told that the US embassy is yet to be notified of this scam.