By Kampala Post Reporter
WAKISO. Police in Kasangati have arrested a suspect for allegedly obtaining Shs271m by false pretense from unsuspecting land squatters.
The suspect identified as Isma Kanonya was arrested on Monday after 61 unsuspecting squatters complained to police.
It is alleged that he has been claiming to be the current owner of a 40 acre piece 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 Lubowa,” Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said in a statement.
Owoyesigyire adds that the suspect explained to the squatters that the land in question was to be sold and 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 Lubowa indicating that he had paid a sum of Shs800m 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,” Owoyesigyire added.
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. Lubowa received news that his land was up for sale, he approached the occupants, presented verified documents proving ownership over the land and claiming he wanted to develop his land which made angry occupants to open 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 Shs14million from another interested land buyer.
The detectives interviewed 61 victims, but they believe there are many more who have not yet come forward,” Mr Owoyesigyire noted.
The suspect is currently detained at Kasangati Police Station on charges of obtaining money by false pretense vide SD REF 38/24/10/2018.