The unemployment ravaging the whole country has caused hundreds of young people to be taken advantage of extortionists claiming to have the required connections to secure them recruitment into the UPDF. Already in police custody is a group of consters led by Yasin Ayiise, Dure Olobo and Ronald Ochen. They are all from Kaberamaido district. They have been working in consort with others like Jack Robert Ogwang based in Lira town.

Police sources say they have been soliciting millions of money from desperate youths in the districts of Lira, Dokolo, Kaberamaido, Amolatar and Soroti while promising them jobs in the UPDF in return. The money would be disguised as commission similar to what Middle East Consultants charges to the young people it takes to Iraq and other places in the Middle East for employment.

But the UPDF 5th Division Publicist Maj Telesphor Turyamumanya furiously denounces these tricksters and warns the public to be aware that there is currently no ongoing UPDF recruitment meaning nobody should be made to expect joining the army any time soon. Such recruitment exercises, he says, are always advertised and UPDF never relies on commission agents to get those seeking to be recruited. It’s always done in the open.

As UPDF clarifies, police working with the area RDCs has already acted to have the perpetrators apprehended. As the consters rot in the Kaberamaido CPS police cells, area DPC Godfrey Abigaba says they have so far been charged with impersonation and extortion. Kaberamaido RDC Samuel Odongo says the consters were picked from Dokolo town after being tracked for weeks. They had been on mobilization drives traversing several districts while cruising in a Toyota Noah (UAY 298Q) which they used to create the impression that they are very serious people with proper responsibilities in the UPDF whereas not.

Dokolo RDC Lawrence Egole (whose district was among those targeted) says these are repeat offenders his office had previously investigated regarding similar cases of extortion. Egole advises the young people against paying money to be recruited into the army because it’s a known fact that UPDF recruitment is always free of charge and is heavily publicized in the mass media.

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