Police in Wakiso are holding twelve people suspected of attempting to extort money from headteachers in exchange for not burning their schools down.
The suspects believed to be part of a huge extortion ring were seized by police officers in Kawempe and Nabweru following a tipoff from one of the victims.
Fred Enanga, the Uganda Police Spokesperson says the Headteacher of Exford Nursery and Primary School, in Nansana Municipality, in Wakiso district, Nkoyoyo Joseph, reported the incident after he was threatened on June 24 to pay money to save his school from being burned.
Enanga says a similar threat of arson was made to another Headteacher of Prosper Junior School, Kuliro Mary Treasure, by anonymous callers on the same number.
He explains that after failed attempts, another caller used the same number demanding Ugx 150,000/= from the Headteachers, claiming he knew the owners of the school and wanted to volunteer information to them.
“So far two Headteachers in Nabweru have been contacted by an anonymous caller on phone number 0700514784, where the persons behind the call, claim to have been hired from Luwero and staying in nearby lodges, and on a mission to burn their schools,” Enanga says
Enanga says all 12 suspects have been arrested and are thoroughly being screened at Nabweru police.
He has cautioned Headteachers and the public to be on the lookout for all types of extortion scams, where criminals use dishonest methods to contact potential victims and attempt to pressure them with threats to pay or blackmail.
He adds that the thugs picked the head teachers’ contacts from signposts as well as roadside banners advertising the respective schools.
“We urge you to be very cautious of your phone communication and avoid sharing any personal information with strangers or people you have never met in person. These criminals will try to get contacts from signposts, business cards or randomly and then demand money or forms in exchange for not causing damage to your property, life or blackmail and propaganda,” says Enanga