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CRIME

Tour operator arrested over fraud

Richard Tusasibwe, the Chief Executive Director of Gatatu Safaris Limited after the arrest. (PHOTO/MICAH)

KABALE – The Tourism Police in Kigezi region has arrested Richard Tusasibwe, the Chief Executive Director of Gatatu Safaris Limited a tour and travel company in the area for allegedly conning five tourists.

Richard Tusasibwe who is commonly known as Gatatu received 21,500 US Dollars from Dr Lentschig Markus Gunter, a German national which was for payment of the entire safari package for his family vacation in Uganda.

It’s alleged that in the month of July 2019, the duo using an online marketing platform agreed on a specified amount of 21,500 USD to be paid for the activities that included; Park fees, Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, game and boat drive fees, rhinos sanctuary, accommodation, transport and a tour guide plus all taxes to mention but a few.

On 10/07/19, Dr Lentschig then sent 20,000 USD as deposit. On 25/07/19 he arrived in Uganda with his four other family members through Katuna via Kanombe international airport Kigali Rwanda.

On arrival in Kabale, they paid more 1,500 USD making it 21,500 USD. To their dismay, when they went to Kisoro on 27/08/19, they were told they hadn’t reserved them accommodation.

That’s when they became suspicious and reported to police. Tusasibwe has since been on the run until he was netted on the Monday morning of August 12, from one of the hotels around Lake Bunyonyi.

According to Emmanuel Tinka, the Kigezi Regional Tourism Police commander, his office had received complaints from five tourists from United States of America who are accusing Tusasibwe of allegedly signing a contract worth 7.9 million shillings which he did not fully respect.

“Upon receiving the information from the tourists, we mounted a hunt for Tusasibwe for close to three weeks now till today August 12th when we handpicked him from his hide outs. We have him in custody and he will be charged with receiving money by false pretense,” Tinka said.

This is not the first time a tour operator is arrested over fraud from the region. In February 2019, Didan Atukunda a tour operator from Mamba Gorilla Safari was arrested after he failed to refund 99 million shillings that was mistakenly sent to his account by a Dutch tourist for a gorilla trekking trip.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni while on his tour to Kigezi Sub region in the Wealth Creation campaign at the end of July 2019 ordered for the arrest of tour operators in  the region who habitually con unsuspecting tourists and rob them of their money.

Museveni said that such tour operators whom he termed as fake “should be arrested because they are enemies of the country”.

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