EAST KYOGA – East Kyoga Police are investigating a fraud case in which Savannah Motors, defrauded locals in Teso sub-region of more than Shs 100 million.
The East Kyoga Police Spokesman, Oscar Ageca said, more than 128 people have been recorded as the aggrieved but said they are still receiving more complaints.
“The entire Teso region is affected because they put announcements on local radios inviting people who are willing to register. We have so far opened general inquiries into this matter,” Ageca said.
It’s alleged that Savannah Motors under the purported management of one, Johnson Labati of Sune parish within Budaka district, signed client agreements with various individuals within Teso sub-region to supply them with Bajaj motorcycles upon payments of prescribed fees to Savannah Motors.
The payment method was by way of instalment by the clients of a weekly sum of Shs 62,000 or Shs 250,000 monthly.
“In the alternative, a monthly payment of Shs 250,000 until one makes a total sum of Shs.6m which sum was to allow for full ownership of the motorcycle,” Ageca explained.
According to the agreement, the clients were to pay in instalments of Shs 62,500 weekly and Shs 250,000 monthly to make a total sum of Shs 6,000,000 for one to own a motorcycle permanently.
The motorcycles were to be delivered to clients on or before October 4th,2021, but the beneficiaries were shocked to find the offices located in Soroti City at Old Mbale road, opposite Soroti Municipal Secondary school closed.
After finding the offices closed, the irate locals stormed the office of the Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Soroti City seeking clarification on the whereabouts of the Directors of Savannah Motors.
Francis Eseru, one of the victims, from Kapir sub-county in Ngora district said, he paid Shs 500,000 to the company with all the necessary credentials and was promised to get the motorcycle October 4th ,2021 but he was welcomed with three big padlocks on the doors of Savannah Motors.
He said that he tried calling the numbers in the company’s advertisement vouchers 03933248465 and
Eseru, a father of three children said he got a loan from one of the village saving associations which he paid to Savana Motors as a commitment fee hoping that he would get the motorcycle as promised, little did he know that he had paid money to conmen.
Martin Akol, of Pamba ward in Soroti City West, said that most people were convinced to believe that the company was genuine since they were moving with the Chairman boda-boda riders in Soroti, Richard Ochuli.
He blamed the leaders for allowing Savana Motors to operate in the city without undertaking ground checks to find out their validity.
“I’m totally disappointed with the leaders because they are the ones who gave these Savana Motors operating licenses,” Akol said.
When contacted for a comment Richard Ochuli, the Chairperson boda-boda riders in Soroti said that the company had all the documents indicating that they were fully registered and licensed to do the business in Soroti.
“The information also reached him through the boda-boda riders who sought clarification from him about the company,” he explained.
Oculi added that he went to the company’s office where he was given the certificate of registration and the trading license issued by Soroti City West division authorities which made him believe the company was real.
Meanwhile, Regina Akello, the Acting Assistant Town Clerk, Soroti City West said, they issued a trading license to Savana Motors after they presented all the requirements needed for one to qualify to get a license to operate business in the area.
However, ASP Oscar Gregory Ageca said, the police has opened an inquiry into the matter at Soroti Central Police Station under file GEF: 29/2021.
According to Ageca, the fraudsters shall be identified and held accountable.
“The police with sister security agencies shall continue to zealously investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this scheme” he said.
The regional police mouthpiece revealed that the Uganda Police is committed to protecting the citizenry from being brazenly preyed on and victimized by fraud and abuse.
Ageca however urged for calm as police investigates the matter, calling on any person with information regarding the whereabouts of Labati Johnson, Bob Naganda and one only identified as Anyipo to call police Toll free lines 999 or 112 to be connected with investigators to aid in the matter’s investigation and prosecution.
This is not the first time the people of Teso sub-county are being duped by conmen .In 2019, close to Shs.1b was lost to another online company called E-coin and the same year, another company promising people motorcycles also fleeced people of millions of shillings.
Unfortunately, nobody was prosecuted over the past incidents and is the reason the current victims have little hope of recovering their hard-earned cash.
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