KIBULI, 18 February 2021 – Two Ugandan police deserters have been accused of setting up a gold scam in which they conned $6 million out of an American national, Abastaios Belesis.
The American, a mineral dealer, said he met the two while seeking to buy gold in large quantities.
Former police constable Martin Bwayo and his accomplice Enock Katwesigye claimed to be senior UPDF officers calling themselves respectively of Capt. Bob and Col. Franck.
Bwayo convinced the 46-yearold American that he needed to register his mineral company in Uganda, acquire a license from geological minerals department, and a certificate from Uganda Revenue Authority and National Social Security Fund.
Bwayo introduced the American to Katwesigye, whose role was going to be to find a shortcut to expedite the registration of the company, avoid what he alleged would have been a two-year wait.
Katwesigye asked for and received $3 million from Belesis in otder to reportedly expedite the process.
He was later charged $2.5 million for hiring an office at Mukwano Courts and recruiting some workers.
“I paid the money hesitantly but I was convinced I was dealing with genuine people since they asked me to meet all these procedures. They took me to where gold was being sold. I examined five kilograms of gold which were all genuine. They told me that they had over 800 kilograms of gold and they were willing to sell it to me,” the American said.
After testing the gold, the American gave the duo an additional $1.25 million, but seven armed men dressed in military-like attire intercepted the box body truck to which the gold had been loaded and claimed to be breaking up an illegal gold transaction.
The American was asked to bribe the men in military-type gear $750,000 but refused because, as he told the prosecutor in a swron affidavit, he had become suspicious of the endless expenses.
That is when he filed a case with CID headquarters, leading to the arrest of the two police officers.
The armed men who masqueraded as soldiers and hijacked the truck are still on the run.