KAMULI – Police in Kamuli district is holding 22 youths suspected of issuing fake dollar currency in Kamuli district and the surrounding areas.
The suspects who refer to themselves as “money bags crew,” have set their main base in Nawanyago town council in Kamuli district and they target mainly sugarcane farmers who are reluctant to deposit big sums of money in banks but rather prefer keeping it in their houses.
The suspects are reported to have developed strong networks of unemployed youths within the districts of Jinja, Kamuli and Luuka, who alert them on farmers that might have sold off cane and still holding cash in their homes.
They then convince their unsuspecting victims to store money in dollars, as most local thieves are more interested in Shillings and lack knowledge on the value of foreign currency.
Henry Mudumba, a resident of Kasambira trading center in Kamuli district says that, he was given fake dollars after paying them four million Shillings. “I sold off my cane and gave them four million Shillings and they in turn offered me three thousand dollars, but after visiting the forex bureau early last week, I was told that, all of it was fake,” he says.In any case four million shillings fetches just slightly over one thousand dollars in a forex bureau anywhere in the country, so being given three times the eamount would have alarmed any person informed about foreign currency.
The Kamuli district police commander, Ahmed Madiri says that the same suspects stage night road blocks with machetes and forcefully grab valuables from passersby, and early this year, they attacked a soldier attached to the special forces command, battered him, took off with seven million Shillings and left him lying helpless at the roadside.
Madiri adds that, they have dispatched detectives to hunt down other suspects who are still at large.