By Patrick Okino
Last month, March, a suspected accomplice of Power Forex International, an online company, was arrested for allegedly attempting to bribe Lira resident state attorney Peter Amola.
Emmanuel Kashijja, a resident of Kireka, Kira town council, Wakiso district, was cornered by the resident state attorney’s office on March 24 with allegedly sh2m aimed at bribing the official.
It has now emerged that the company allegedly conned sh1.8b from at least 2,500 people in Lango, Acholi, West Nile and Bunyoro sub-regions in the dubious dealings.
“They conned over 2,000 people not only in northern Uganda, but also in Mbarara and other districts in western Uganda,” said Patrick Emot, one of the victims.
Three top officials of the company: CEO Herbert Nuwagaba, Rogers Tamale and Moses Mutesesira were in February picked up by the Police and arraigned in Lira court after they allegedly defrauded several people in the online business.
They were charged with 60 counts of fraud and obtaining money by false pretence.
Nuwagaba, Tamale and Mutesesira are battling the charges before the Lira Magistrates’ Court in Lira City and the case has been adjourned to next month.
“We would have started giving our testimony, but the case was adjourned till May,” Emot said.
Sam Odyek, a retired headteacher in Kole district, who lost sh32m, said he received sh40m for his pension and gratuity, but invested a bigger part of it in the online business hoping he would reap from it.
“I landed into a trap and, now I don’t know what to do to recover my money,” he said.
The company claims it deals in forex trading, stock marketing, forex trade training, credit services and marketing research and development.
According to their website, they help clients to make the best out of their money without hard work through their investment and marketing plans.
They also indicated that they have been registered with the registrar of companies in the name of Power Forex international SMC Ltd.
“I certify that Power Forex International SMC Ltd (limited by shares) has this day been incorporated with limited liability,” the certificate signed by Eunice Agoro reads. According to the certificate, the company was registered on May 20, last year.
The company is accused of luring people to invest in their packages and each investment would last 60 days. One was promised to withdraw a commission of 50%.
The clients are also entitled to a commission when they bring in more people to embrace the business.
Emot said, their woes started when the officials allegedly shut down their office in Lira and could not be traced by the clients. The company is accused of taking months without giving people their commission.
“We became suspicious and reported the case to the Police for further action,” Emot said.
Emot claims to have lost sh30m in the alleged fraud.
Godwin Adriko, another victim from Arua, said he is under pressure from members whom he lured into the business thinking that it was a genuine and profitable business.
“Right now I cannot travel back to Arua because people want their money and are threatening to gag me if they lose their money,” he said.
Adriko added that he invested sh6m into the business and his first withdrawal was 30% which motivated him to build confidence to invest more.