Police in Kasangati have arrested a suspect for allegedly obtaining 271 millions by false pretence from unsuspecting squatters.
The suspect identified as Isma Kanonya was arrested after 61 unsuspecting squatters complained to police.
It is alleged that he has been claiming to be the current owner of a 40 acres of land located in Busukuma.
The complainants told police that they were approached by Kanonya in 2015 as a land broker and presented to them a Memorandum Of Understanding between him and the actual land owner a one Mr. Patrick Luboowa.
He explained to the squatters that the land in question was to be sold and a 28% would be paid to them as compensation for resettlement, 24% as his commission and 48% to the owner.
After few months Kanonya approached the occupants and presented to them an agreement between him and Luboowa indicating he had paid a sum of Ushs 800 millions as part of the payments for the entire land a condition that placed him as the rightful owner of the land.
The suspect then hired surveyors to partition the land into (50×100), (100×100) plots and started receiving deposit payments while promising that he was processing their land tittles.
He made millions by conning the would-be occupants, who would pay him deposits for plots he claimed to own – only for him to disappear before they could receive their land titles.
Attempts to reach him on phone to inquire about the titles processing progress were futile as he was unreachable and sometimes had his phones switched off.
When the true land owner Mr. Luboowa received news that his land was up for grabs, approached the occupants, presented verified documents proving ownership over the land and claiming he wanted to develop his land angry occupants opened up cases at various police stations against Kanonya.
Detectives, who had received a stream of complaints from aggrieved residents in Busukuma, finally tracked him down from town as he had come to collect more 14 million from another interested land buyer.
The detectives interviewed 61 victims, but they believe there are many more who have not yet come forward.
The suspect is currently detained at Kasangati Police Station on charges of obtaining money by false pretence vide SD REF 38/24/10/2018.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire called upon the public to always search for the title in the lands ministry or regional offices before paying for such land.
“Its also good to ask people in the neighbourhood if there are any disputes over the land and avoid dealing with third parties but instead deal with the owner,” Owoyesigyire said.