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Nigerian students to face kidnapping, forgery, extortion charges in Uganda

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 11:05

The 28 visas, which have been cancelled, belong to Nigerians who reportedly entered the country a year ago claiming to be research students.

Ugandan police say despite having acquired student visas, the 28 Nigerians were linked to criminal activities in the East African country.

Police suspect that all the 28 had links with four other Nigerians arrested last week on suspicion of kidnapping and extorting money from foreign investors.

Those kidnapped included investors Robert Mullahar, an American national and Robert James, an Australian national.

They were also reportedly found with forged signatures of President Yoweri Museveni, together with other fake government documents and agreements, purportedly awarding contracts in the oil and gas sector.

Police deputy spokesman, Patrick Onyango suggested that the forged signatures and oil agreements could have been used to award fake oil contracts.

“They have a big network of cells operating in Uganda, Democratic Republic Congo, Kenya and Liberia that lure foreigners into sham deals.

“They lure the businessmen into the country using forged documents and later kidnap them, demanding ransom before releasing them,” he said.

Last week, police arrested four Nigerians suspected to have been involved in the kidnapping of foreign investors.

At the time of their arrest, they also had counterfeit currencies in their possession.

“About a month ago, those gangsters are suspected to have kidnapped an Australian national and demanded a ransom of 650,000 euros,” Onyango said.

“They negotiated and settled for 350,000 euros, before releasing him.”

He said the group is suspected of having kidnaped an American businessman on August 13 and demanded a $50,000 ransom before freeing him.

The suspects will be taken to court and charged with a number of offences including forgery, kidnapping and possession of counterfeit money.

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