ARUA. The police of Arua have arrested a man for conning more than shs.2m from 15 savings and credit cooperative organization (SACCO) groups in River Oli Division, Arua Municipality.
Brahan Sabir, a resident of Tanganyika ward in River Oli Division was arrested on Monday following complaints from the affected SACCO group members.
The SACCOs allege that Sabir duped them to surrender to him shs150,000 each, with a promise of helping them get shs.30m each, which he said was part of shs.600m President Yoweri Museveni recently handed over to Jackson Atima, a renowned businessman in Arua town at State House, Entebbe.
Salita Dawa, a member of Obolokofuku East SACCO group said Sabir approached them on September 24, 2019 claiming that the President had given Atima shs.600m to be given out to SACCO groups from cell to cell in Arua Municipality.
According to Annet Amaguru, another victim from Oli D United women SACCO, Sabir told them that he went along with Atima to meet President Museveni who handed over to them shs.600m.
“We then asked him about the requirements for a SACCO to benefit from the money, and he told us that he needed shs.150, 000 from each of us(SACCOs) to qualify for the shs.30m support from the President. That’s how we quickly mobilized the money and gave him,” Dawa told theCooperator.
“The promise was that we would receive the money(shs.30million) two days after we met the condition (each SACCO parting with Shs. 150,000),” Salita said.
Things were however not to go as agreed. Dawa told theCooperator that after giving Sabir the money, he immediately got out of reach, prompting them to call Atima – the alleged recipient of Shs.600m from President Museveni on behalf of the SACCOs.
But when contacted, Atima frantically denied ever being involved with Sabir or any such project, saying that he had not even had a formal meeting with President Museveni this year. He called Sabir’s claims “a total lie.”
“That is when we came to police to report the matter that led to his arrest,” Dawa added.
Davis Lusamba, the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department at Arua Central Police Station (CPS) confirmed Sabir’s arrest and said police is still assembling evidence by merging all the complainants’ files to build a strong case against the suspect.
“We received several complaints from the affected SACCO groups and I’m now recording all the statements of the complainants before charging Sabir,” he said.
He encouraged all those who may have equally been conned by Sabir but were yet to report, to come to Arua Central Police Station to also record their statements against him.
When theCooperator contacted Atima, he confirmed the developments but remained consistent he was not in any way involved with Sabir. “In any case, I have been so resourceful to the party (NRM) in Arua Municipality sometimes using my personal money to fund party activities. Why would I then ask for money from these SACCOs first in order to get support from President Museveni if indeed he had given it?” Atima asked.
He said Sabir’s decision to con the SACCOs was criminal, for which he must face the full force of the law.