Two Ugandans remanded in Shs1.1b gold scam targeting Korean

Two Ugandans remanded in Shs1.1b gold scam targeting Korean
The accused persons appearing before City Hall Court. COURTESY PHOTO/URN

Kampala, Uganda | URN | City Hall Grade One Magistrate Rehema Nassozi Ssebowa has remanded two men to Luzira Prison on charges of obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to commit a felony.

The suspects, James Mugisha, a resident of Kitende, Kajjansi Town Council in Wakiso District, and Godfrey Maviri, a resident of Munyonyo, Makindye Division in Kampala District, appeared before Nassozi Wednesday 4, October 2023.

The Court heard that Mugisha and Maviri, along with others who are still at large, allegedly committed these crimes between August 2021 and November 2021 at the offices of NSB Advocates along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala City. They allegedly obtained US$300,000 (approximately Shillings 1.1 billion) by falsely claiming that they were selling 53 kilograms of gold to Hyun UK Kim, a Korean national.

Additionally, it was alleged that they conspired to commit a felony during the same period and at the same location. Both accused individuals have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecution, led by State Attorney Mercy Yamangusho Khaidarah, informed the court that inquiries were complete. However, due to the involvement of other suspects who are still at large, she requested a mention date to facilitate their arrest. Nassozi informed the accused that they have the right to apply for bail.

However, the suspects stated that they do not have sureties present in court prompting the magistrate to remand them until October 25th, 2023. According to unofficial sources close to the matter, the complainant was contacted by James Mugisha, who was acquainted with the alleged gold seller.

Subsequently, Hyun UK Kim met with the seller after being picked up from the airport by the seller’s alleged son and interpreter. It is reported that they met at the Imperial Residence Apartment, where the gold nuggets were shown to the complainant. They later visited M/S NSB Advocates and Legal Consultants, where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed, and a deposit of US$208,000 was paid by the complainant.

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However, instead of transporting the gold by land as requested by the complainant, he was informed that he needed to pay US$62,000 for Cargo Flight Insurance. During these transactions at the law firm, Godfrey Maviri was allegedly in the company of the gold seller. Subsequently, investigators claim to have recovered six kilograms of gold nuggets during a search at Maviri’s home.

Notably, some law firms in Kampala have faced allegations of involvement in gold scams, with accusations of collusion with suspects. However, these firms have maintained that they are only providing legal services to clients and deny any wrongdoing beyond that scope.