There is a new wave of fraud in Kampala orchestrated by a huge racket of foreigners particularly Nigerians in which millions of bank accounts holders lose money unknowingly by swiping visa cards through a credit card terminal/reader commonly known as “visa machine.”
How scammers target these visa cards will be explained in detail in our subsequent edition, but today we expose a racket of Nigerian and Ugandan business partners that are a making a kill from swiping the visa cards as money is directly deposited on two of ABSA bank accounts which is later withdrawn.
The leader of this cartel, according to our independent investigation is identified as Sulaiman Muhammad who can be reached on telephone number +256 708 805158.
He resides in swanky African Apartments in Buziga, a high-end Kampala suburb.
Our investigations which we corroborated with security, Muhammad has been arrested more than twice on several charges related to cybercrimes.
“But somehow he is released without prosecution because he pays handsomely for his freedom,” said a source in security.
Against that background, Muhammad brags on how he has been arrested but released without charges.
“For the fact that you said money laundering means that you know nothing about what have been through carrying out my business in this country,” he partly responded when reached to substantiate claims of money laundering.
We established that Muhammad works with Amina Nakazibwe who disguises with an online restaurant identified as “Lettuce Eat” and a boutique as Kooki Towers Mens Moment.
How Money Laundering is Executed
Amina, a Muganda, opened two account numbers: 6007171356 and 6007171380 in ABSA bank under the names of Mens Moment.
Investigation carried out indicates that however, the two businesses act as a vehicle to facilitate the actual money laundering scheme.
“Muhammad who has a wider network target dormant account numbers abroad, through hacking, money is transferred to different accounts of which these accounts belong to him or his accomplices,” part of the investigations shows.
Muhammad possesses over 50 visa cards which are part of the different bank accounts where money is placed.
With his accomplice Amina, the two then swipe on ABSA visa machine disguising as clients of the boutique or restaurant of as money is deposited on to the above-mentioned account numbers.
“They present as if they are clients and have purchased from the online restaurant or boutique and they swipe.”
They make sure every transaction doesn’t exceed shs 500,000 so as they don’t arouse suspicion from the bank.
When money accumulates to millions, Amina withdraws it and she earns her commission.
Is ABSA aiding Money Laundering?
Banks are supposed to conduct due diligence to establish the source of money from clients.
In January the money accumulated to shs 1.1 billion, according to bank records obtained by this website.
The bank had cleared shs 776 million.
Suspecting the source of the money was unclear, ABSA bank froze the accounts of Mens Moments and tasked the owners to avail evidence related to the transactions made on the visa machines.
Mercy Masayuni, an official in ABSA bank who was designated to conduct investigations before clearing the remaining cash for withdraw informed the clients about the spike in transaction value.
I hope all is well.
Part of the payments owed to you are yet to be settled to your account as our forensics team seeks to understand this month’s spike in transaction value. We have so far settled UGX 776,291,000 out of the total transaction value of UGX 1,106,576,000. Kindly share transaction supporting documents (receipts, invoices, delivery notes etc.) The pending payments will be received to your account upon receipt of the requested documents. Efforts to reach via the phone have been in vain,” Masayuni wrote to Amina on January 30.
Amina Nakazibwe and her partner didn’t provide sufficient evidence as requested by the bank and on March 1, Masayuni in another email notified Amina that her two accounts had been closed.
However, this website has ascertained that the bank later released money, how and why remains unknown.
Banks earn hugely from the little fees charged on numerous transactions. And there is no way ABSA bank would let the money lie idle on the accounts when the owned needed it.
Because the bank exhibited suspicion, it would have first invited Financial Intelligence Authority to investigate the source of funds before clearinf it.
Muhammad and his accomplice Amina are still operating their illegal business in Kampala.
When this website contacted Muhammad for a comment he indicated he is running a genuine business, licensed and registered here in Uganda.
“I am a business man with a business license in Uganda. The bank held money but never termed it has money laundering. I was arrested by law enforcements, detained for days and investigations were Carried out. But there was no such term as money laundering,” he replied.
“So I do not understand what you mean by money laundering. Do you even know what money laundering is?? For the fact that you said money laundering means that you know nothing about what have been through carrying out my business in this country. You know nothing about what you investigating,” he said.
Amina Nakazibwe said, “Please I don’t know what you’re talking about and I have no comment.”
Mercy Masayuni when reached said she doesn’t speak for the bank before ending our call.
ABSA spokesperson Helen Nangonzi when contacted said she was travelling upcountry but would notify someone at the bank to reach out to us.
By press time, no one had contacted us.