By Leonard Kamugisha AKIDA
Police Cyber – Crime Unit is investigating circumstances under which some users are obtaining and demanding from prominent individuals money by false pretences and menace.
Patrick Onyango, the Spokesman Kampala Metropolitan Police said over 100 complaints from public figures such as MPs, Doctors, Lawyers, Businessmen et àl have already been lodged and police cyber- crime unit is carrying out the investigations.
In a press release dated today Thursday April30th,2020, the unit on Wednesday April29th, received three (3) complaints from the Members of Parliament.
Accordingly, the criminals use nude and other obscene photos got from internet, Photoshop them using various computer software Applications send them to their targeted preys intimidating to leak the photographs lest they are paid money.
“…them to appear as if the victims were having sexual intercourses on camera. They then call or send the photos to them demanding for money,” Onyango said.
He said the culprits always demand an amount of money ranging from US$1,000 to US$10,000 in order not to publish the photographs on social media.
Onyango did not reveal identity of any of the complainants. Most People have always fallen victims of paying money to cyber criminals.
However, he indicated that the unit is working tooth and nail to have the culprits arrested.
“Our cyber crime teams are still investigating allegations and we are closing on the suspects,” he indicated.
Cyber-crimes are on a rampage in Uganda and a bigger number of people, prominent and ordinary, have fallen culprits of breaching the laws on cyber harassments and defamations.
In a Annual Crime, Traffic and Road Safety Report2019 by Upf, it was stated that a total of 248 cyber crimes cases were reported in 2019 compared to 198 cases reported in 2018. The report however, stated that there was a decrease in cyber harassments and defamation, and there was no any reported case of the use of pornography and unauthorized modification of computer materials.
Nevertheless, findings of the report showed an increase in cases of personation where perpetrators created Facebook accounts in the names of highprofilepersonalities fraudently obtaining monies worth 8.3m.
There were two major categories of cybercrimes handled in 2019. There are;
i. Fraudulent SIM card registration and SIM card swapping,
ii. Personation of high-profile personalities.
Patrick Onyango has appealed to the members of the public not to fall into the traps of cyber criminal but rather to report any suspected cases to police.
“I appeal to the public not to be on the look out for these criminals and urge them not to yield to their demands,” Onyango urged.
Furthermore, Onyango said the unit is steadily monitoring, analysing and looking for the perpetrators.