Kampala, Uganda | URN | Anti-human trafficking detectives at Criminal Investigations Directorate have arrested a woman accused of defrauding 200 girls of over 90 million shillings in fake job promises.
Jumia Kamwoka was picked from Komamboga, Kawempe division with 200 girls picked from various parts of the country on promises of securing for them jobs in Kampala city. Kamwoka according to CID spokesperson Charles Twine is a coordinator of Alliance in Motion Global Uganda Limited.
The girls have since revealed in their statements that they were charged 450,000 each in order to secure jobs that would pay them 650,000 to 1 million shillings per month.
One of the girls said she was convinced that she could even earn 650,000 per week. She was brought to Kampala from Masaka after she failed to get money to take her back to school.
The victim said: “I was in S5 before the (COVID-19) lockdown started. My parents have since lost their jobs and I was told to find ways to earn money so that I can go back to school. Someone told me about this company offering jobs. We first paid 450,000. I came with my friend.”
Twine said CID picked interest after two victims from Sembabule escaped and narrated their ordeal of duped job promises to a relative who lives near Agenda 2000 along Kireka-Kyaliwajjala road.
“They paid money after being promised jobs,” Twine said. “But to their surprise, they started lecturing them on how to vend Chinese products. They were told that they would earn 650,000 extra for every three people they would recruit.”
Kamwoka led detectives to the purported head office of Alliance in Motion Global Uganda Limited at Mabirizi Complex. Police have since recovered hampers of Chinese branded products which the girls were being trained to vend.
Police said all the products are consumables but have no certification from Uganda National Board of Standards (UNBS). “Since these are uncertified consumables, we are engaging health experts to understand which health hazards could be related to them,” Twine said.
In her statement, Kamwoka said the company directors are based in the Philippines. She insists that the girls were clearly told the kind of jobs they were going to do and mode of payment.
“The money they paid was to facilitate their feeding, training and accommodation. We give them commission for every product they sell. They earn more money when they recruit more people,” Kamwoka said.
Twine said preliminary investigations point to offences of human trafficking and obtaining money by false pretense with false job promises. The victims were majorly picked from regions of Buganda and Busoga. Some of the victims have since been handed to the Ministry of Gender. Those with relatives in nearby places have since been reunited.
A visit to Komamboga which is adjacent to Kumbuzi, a popular hangout along Gayaza road revealed a quiet environment. Two boda-boda riders pointed at three different houses of which it was difficult to know in which one they were living in.
However, police said the girls were being rotated in various houses within Komamboga, the reason why even those who have escaped could mention several homes.
Cases of girls being duped with non-existing jobs have been reported in various parts of the country since September last year. Two prominent politicians are also being investigated in regard to trafficking girls stranded due to lockdown.