Handcuffs

Police in close coordination with the US Embassy in Kampala have arrested three suspects for allegedly submitting fraudulent documents for US Visas to the Embassy.

According to Police, two Diplomatic Notes dated 21st June 2022 and 4th July 2022, were issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, using fraudulent or falsified police certificates.

“The attached police certificates that are alleged to have been signed by an unknown person on behalf of the Director for Interpol and International Relations, were established to be a forgery,” Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said.

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“It is further established that the Diplomatic Note issued on the 21st June was signed by a one Opio Innocent, a 1st Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He however, did not give clear reasons for issuing the Diplomatic Note. The second Diplomatic Note dated 4th July was signed by a one Wandera Emmanuel a Foreign Service Officer, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He claimed that we had signed the document after correcting an error on the original document, allegedly signed by his superior. He however, did not notify him of the changes,” Enanga added.

All the 11 applicants were fronted as police officers going for a training course in Washington D.C in the US. Out of the 11 applicants, 10 were established to be civilians, while one police officer, used false information, claiming he was a detective attached to CID Headquarters, yet he was a police driver.

Out of the 11 applicants, 3 travelled to the US and are wanted, three were arrested, two have their passports pending at the US Embassy and 3 had not submitted their documents.

“It is also surprising that the Diplomatic Notes were delivered to the US Embassy, by a one Kiwanuka Louise Mary, a courier at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after informally receiving them from an intermediary, known as Odong John Baptist, who was not an employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Enanga said.

“We are investigating the entire racket for issuing Diplomatic Notes, in total disregard to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as inquiries in utterance of false documents and conspiracy. We have also re-instituted a similar case file, which was opened against Opio Innocent, for issuance of fraudulent Diplomatic Notes in 2017.”

The investigations do show that a number of travel agents, intermediaries in conspiracy with rogue officials, were submitting fraudulent applications for US visas at a cost. They compile profiles with forged work experience, bank documents, birth certificates, police certificates, marriage certificates among others, to help applicants acquire student visas, study visa’s and resident visas among others.