My friend, Apollo Buregyeya, recently posted a story about a conman that reminded me of the numerous conmen phone calls we always get in the field of construction.
Some years back, I receive a phone call. The caller says I am Doctor Andima currently working with UNICEF in Karamoja region, we have some very good construction tender I am in charge of here in Moroto and I thought I should give it to my brother.
I was very excited that my Lugbara brother had thought about me. The Lugbara hardly do that. Most would rather give Job to other tribes.
He then says the deadline is in 3 days time, can you come to Moroto to buy the bid? He suggests, alternatively, you can send me the money I ask someone to pay for you so you spend the few days remaining to prepare. He even sends me the BOQ and tender documents. Properly prepared documents.
I immediately send him 300k on his mobile.
As soon as I sent him the money, something hit me that you have been conned.
I called the district engineer of Moroto who confirmed to me that there is no Job like that in Moroto and all construction Jobs are approved by him and he also doesn’t know any doctor like that.
So I kept my cool, quickly prepared the tender and sent it by email to this doctor. After receiving he said we are actually the lowest bidder so he has convinced his team to give us the Job.
Then he told me his team may need some facilitation of 5 million. I now pretended I had fallen in his trap. I told him when is he in Kampala, I would be glad to meet him. He says the next day he will be in Kampala, so we agree on when to meet and I also ask him to come to see my office.
I alert a police friend of Mine who comes in civilian cloth but with Pingo.
The time comes and the Doctor arrives. I welcome him and introduce the policeman as my partner, we start talking, the policeman walks and locks the door and comes back and tells the conman you are under arrest. He starts crying telling us how life is tough and that is how they survive.
It turns out the guy is an Arua Park based conman. Searching him, he had 3 million in folded monies he had conned from many people. We picked the money and adviced him never to con again. He took off at a breakneck speed.
We divided the 3m equally with the policeman.