Gold is now Uganda’s second largest export commodity after coffee, after posting historical highs in the last three-quarters of the financial year 2015/16.
According to the Bank of Uganda’s (BoU) 2015/16 annual report, the gold exports value during the financial year rose to $204m (Shs693b) from a paltry $230,000 (Shs782m) in the 2014/15 financial year.
However, the trade has been infiltrated ‘mafia clique’ that flood fake gold on market with foreigner becoming victims and losing millions of dollars.
One wonders why fake dealers continue to elude arrests despite a number of cases that have been registered with police.
TrumpetNews obtained an intelligence report exposing the scam, how the process of conning foreign businessmen is hatched up to the point of execution abetted by high ranking security officials who play very important role in shielding these criminals by providing security, lead cars and body guards.
“This report is generated from the gathered information about the art and execution of fake gold dealings and how foreigners lose millions of dollars to con stars in Uganda. The fake dealers are Ugandans, Congolese and Rwandese,” it reads in part
It mentions key players as Clearing agents, lawyers, agents of fake dealers, gold refineries , genuine gold samples obtained from democratic republic of Congo and gold purity at 98% carats 24 and above.
The fake dealers start by identifying unsuspecting clients who are always foreigners in overseas.
They search for companies that manufacture military hardware.
After identifying the companies then they disguise that they are M23 rebels fighting with government of Congo and have tons of gold for exchange of military support of money.
“They give specifications of the military hardware, the security company is appointed to handle the deals but usually the security company appointed by the fake dealers are quick to suggest cash dealing instead of military equipment because they claim their gold does not have proper documents and is illegally mined from Congo and has a UN ban,” the report says.
Their gold is usually cheaper than any other gold on the market priced between 16000 USD to 22000 USD since it is obtained by rebels and is in huge tones.
The above makes unsuspecting companies to pick interest and quick to send representatives in the country under the arrangement of sellers who claim to be either Ugandan generals supporting the rebels or Congo generals from the bush.
Through their contracts the fake dealers have high connections with in the security system ranging from police to UPDF officers who provide them with necessary arrangements to execute their dubious deals.
Hotel bookings and reservations are done by their backups within security circles. They arrange a powerful delegation to welcome the foreign representatives into the country who travel by chartered planes, lead cars, escorts and body guards from airport to lavish hotels where someone purporting to be a seller is waiting to receive a guest.
All expenses are met by the host when the foreign representative is in the country.
Negotiations are made and options of transactions are offered to the representative.
The fake dealer twists the representative to believe that once they pay cash the rebels can source for military arms and support from within Africa.
The fake gold is kept in either bonded warehouse or in banks under safe custody. Security arrangements are done to give it an impression of being genuine.
There is always a Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officer in the deal. Lead cars are given by usually the DPC or military officer of a high rank depending on where the deal is to be executed in the country.
TrumpetNews will tomorrow publish part two of the report which shows how the fake deal is executed, names of city businessmen involved, security officials aiding the scam and the cases registered in different police stations.