JINJA: Couple fakes kidnap to get money for children’s school fees

The Police spokesperson for Kiira region, Mr James Mubi confirmed the incident (Photo/File)

Jinja, (UG): The Police in Jinja District Friday arrested and charged a couple for allegedly faking a kidnap and soliciting ransom for their children’s school fees and cover outstanding debts they accumulated since 2022.

The suspects have been identified as Faridah Namugera, 38, and Michael Ngobi, 41, residents of Buwagi village, Budondo sub-county in Jinja district. 

Kiira Regional Police Spokesperson, SP James Mubi confirmed the arrest which came after the husband reported the matter of his wife’s kidnap at Budondo police alleging that she had been kidnapped on her way for antenatal care at Budondo Health Centre IV.

“On January 3, 2024, Faridah’s husband Michael Ngobi, 41, reported a case of kidnap at Budondo police station claiming that his wife had been kidnapped as she was proceeding to Budondo HC 1V for antenatal services,” SP Mubi said in a Friday statement.

The husband claimed that the kidnapper in a purported Toyota Noah travelled via Jinja Amber court roundabout, to Iganga and finally to Budaka where they reportedly called to ask for a ransom of shs2m from the wife’s relatives.

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Based on Ngobi’s statement, the police in Jinja put up exhaustive efforts to that effect, using sister agencies like flying squad and senior trackers using GPS coordinates to establish that Faridah was within Namulesa in Jinja City right from the time of the alleged kidnap prompting them to pursue her.

“Today, Friday, January 5, police found Faridah at a friend’s place in Namulesa boozing beers and eating pork. Faridah’s alleged kidnappers were demanding a ransom of 2m using her phone number,” Mubi confirmed.

Police say the false report raised suspicion and panic in the area plus putting security to unrest to pursue the possible culprits for arrest and recover the alleged victim.

“They have caused unnecessary panic, and suspicion in Budondo, Jinja district for falsely reporting a crime that didn’t occur. They have disturbed police because we have been working day and night to recover the alleged victim and possible arrest of culprits,” Mubi said before urging members of the general public to stop creating a history of dishonesty if they are to prosper in future and that they should all live an exemplary life in society.

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DailyExpress established that Faridah’s family led by the mother had mobilized and raised shs1.43 and sent it to her the money but upon police landing on Fridah in Namulesa, she admitted faking a kidnap in connivance with the husband to get school fees for their four children, adding that January is a hard month yet children are soon reporting back to school in early February.

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