Middle East Consultant boss arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit over allegations of fraud, torture and human trafficking
Two Middle East Consultants, a labour exporting company officials are under arrest over allegations of fraud, torture and human trafficking.
Benon Kunywana, the General Manager Middle East Consultants and Ayamba Owen the field agent was yesterday arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit under accusations of obtaining money falsely from over 27 men and women including torturing some of them through false pretence.
In the allegations, Kunywana is said to have obtained money through false pretence from over 20 men and women totalling up to 51 million shillings.
The money was meant to secure jobs for them in the Arab World which the two failed to fulfil.
“Have been identified to be key in making Ugandans suffer so much! So, today we received these young Men and Women present here with a big complaint that Middle East Consultants Limited has been extorting money from them but haven’t taken them anywhere,” Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the State House Ant-Corruption boss stated.
Nakalema said that Ayamba Owen was arrested at Entebbe Airport trafficking about 7 girls to Arab Countries using unverified government documents.
“27 girls were intercepted at Entebbe International Airport early this year and the key suspect is Ayamba Owen. And so, you have a case and you have not been accessible, today we are happy that we got you and you are going to be in police custody.”
According to victims they initially filed torture complaints at Kabalagala Police Station but they were never attended to, and the same happened at the Ministry of Labour until the State House Anti-Corruption Unit moved in to help them.
“I am from Nakasongola, I spend a lot of money on transport but I have never been helped. Whenever I go to their offices they kick me, throw me out including harming me! yet I sold my plot of land and the Boda boda that earned me money I used to take care of my parents, for them to secure me a job in the Middle East,” Paul Matovu said.
“Whenever we could go there they tell us to come back next week on Friday, and when you go back they again say we don’t have the money come back next week. So, we got fed up of their stories,” Lillian Nambooze said.
However, Deputy Police Spokesperson, Luke Owesigire said they have opened up a case against the two officials Kunywana and Ayamba including the victims’ claims of torture.
According to police, the victims will be subjected to medical tests to verify the allegations against Middle Consults.
“So, as police, we shall take the matter up! It’s going to be investigated, these victims that have allegations of torture will be subjected to of course! Medical tests and if the Doctors confirm, we shall, of course, take it on as another case.”
The two Middle East Consultants officials admitted the claims of obtaining money falsely, however, they vowed to repay the money. Though they agreed to return the victims money, Nakalema maintained that that does not exonerate them.
“We are going to pay for them today! We are going to pay them today 23 million, the balance will be 31 million which we are going to pay on Friday,” Kunywana said.
Over 30 labour export companies are under investigation by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit over cases of Human trafficking.