In the struggle to make ends meet in the harsh economic times, Ugandans are fast to take up any economic advantage of presented. And now with the technological advances like the online business, and because of economic pressures, most Ugandans have blindly embraced the opportunities that come a long with such developments.
However the police force has warned the public especially with business interests via internet, not everything that glitters is gold.
This followed the arrest of a 35 year old resident of seguku Ronald Mulamuzi over charges of fraud via internet networking businesses. According to the Kampala Metropolitan Police, Mulamuzi is the mastermind behind the several websites that have defraud many Ugandans who engage in internet networking businesses.
Warning the general public about the online business networks, this week, the Kampala metropolitan Spokesperson Patrick Oyango revealed Mulamuzi was behind several websites offering online banking packages like world movers, Telexfree, Tasco among others, which have closed down since May 7th this year leaving many people crying foul.
Oyango said that the arrest followed complaints of filed by 250 victims claiming to have lost millions of shillings.
He explains that a person falls prey to these cybercrime scams when they are introduced to the online business package under these websites by another already subscribing to the network. After being convinced by enticing adverts on the sites promising them huge profits after a short period of time, a person is required to deposit a subscription fee in dollars to a particular online bank account. The hopeful subscribers are expect to earn their profits through electronic wallets(e-wallets) which many do not have or even understand how they operate.
This system of banking is in four categories called packages. That is to say silver package you deposit 300 dollars and earn 31 dollars per week for each share, Gold package you deposit 1400 us dollars and earn 168 dollars per week, the third one is platinum package you deposit 5400 dollars and it enable you to earn 729 dollars per week, Diamond package, you deposit 25100 dollars and enable you to earn 3600 dollars per week.
“As a result several corporate youths have fallen victim, this is a very high level cyber crime fraud”, oyango noted.
It was establish that Mulamuzi is architecture and proud owner of other websites like Telexfree formerly on Prime plaza, Tasco traders.com, Bank electro and he is believed to have links the United High Link, Massive arts.com, Vineyard among others where people have lost millions of dollars this is because the mode of operation is the same.
“people have invested between the range of 200,000 and 350,000 us dollars we want to caution the public that not everything that glitters is gold, for this business on internet, people should do a thorough background check like on who is the owner, where they operate from… now when we tell Ugandans that this man (Mulamuzi) is a Ugandan, many of them cannot believe it because of what he has told them before”-Oyango
However Mulamuzi denied having committed any fraud as alleged saying the online business networks have existed before elsewhere and many have benefited from them even here in Uganda.
“The allegations that I am defrauding people are not true because these are international companies. I also joined like any other person and of course the principle of this business is that you have to enter under another person, of which those people who recruited me into this business are there” Mulamuzi said, he added that so the allegations are very fake and false.
As a person who knows his rights, Mulamuzi said that of course being a suspect, it is upon police to prove, the case against him.
“these are international bodies, there is nothing wrong to join a network, if MTN comes here and say please register for mobile money and win rewards, I do not think It is criminal, what I do not know is the legality of these companies”-Mulamuzi argued.
When asked whether he had recruited some people in such business, Mulamuzi admitted to have done so.
“Yes I have recruited some and unfortunately I have not seen anyone complaining here”
However police says the complaints is still open and many more are expected to file similar cases
This is the very reason why the ministry of Information, Communication and technology should expedite the enactment of the Cybercrime law as promised by the minister. Probably regulation may address the risks presented by the technological advancements since such developments can be instrumental to the economy.