By Zainab Namusaazi Ssengendo
Police in Masaka has arrested 15 people for alleged human trafficking and extortion.
The suspects include Reagan Mulindwa, Bazibu Micheal, Aisha Namayanja, Kwagala Reagan, Namugerwa Aisha and many others who were attached to Aim Global.
They stand accused of ferrying people from different districts across the country including Kamuli, Bugiri, Mbarara, Buikwe, Nakasongola among others.
The victims totalling 308 were promised jobs but they found out that it was a hoax after spending more than three weeks in rented houses in Nyendo, Masaka.
One of the victims explained that, “They called us saying we are going to work as data entrants, cashier, secretaries. But after they told us that we are going to do a network marketing business and we have to pay Shs.900,000 to join the company. To gain from it we also have to bring other two people. So here they teach us how you can fake (trick) someone to accept and join which is not bad.”
Police in Masaka say the suspects also obtained money by false pretences from the victims who were first asked to pay a non refundable fee of 150,000 each.
Many victims claim they had spent days without food, living in cramped accommodation because of the high number of hopeful job applicants turned up and were duped.
Another victim of the hoax said, “Since Wednesday we have never (sic) got anything to eat. We are moving with empty stomachs, even bathing is hard because they do not give us water. When it comes to sleeping, we sleep 15 people in a small single room though they obtained Shs.150,000 for rent from each of us.”
Among them are 74 females, 170 males and 18 minors.
Upon learning of the hoax, state minister for culture Peace Mutuuzo intervened in the matter and ordered the arrest of all those who were behind the scheme.
She further directed that security ensure all victims are returned to their respective homes.
The Minister encouraged youths to be cautious when promised jobs and carry out checks to ensure they are not being conned.