Jinja couple fakes kidnap to get money for children’s school fees

Jinja Central Police

A couple in Jinja District was apprehended and charged on Friday for allegedly fabricating a kidnapping incident, aiming to extort ransom to cover their children's school fees and settle accumulated debts dating back to 2022.

The individuals involved are Faridah Namugera, 38, and Michael Ngobi, 41, residing in Buwagi village, Budondo sub-county in Jinja district. SP James Mubi, the Kiira Regional Police Spokesperson, confirmed the arrest, initiated when Ngobi reported his wife's supposed abduction at Budondo police station. He claimed she was kidnapped while heading for antenatal care at Budondo Health Centre IV.

According to Mubi's statement on Friday, Ngobi detailed the kidnapper's route in a purported Toyota Noah, passing through Jinja Amber court roundabout, Iganga, and eventually Budaka. The alleged kidnappers demanded a ransom of shs2 million from Faridah's relatives.

In response, Jinja police, collaborating with sister agencies, utilized resources like the flying squad and senior trackers employing GPS coordinates. These efforts revealed that Faridah was, in fact, in Namulesa, Jinja City, during the alleged kidnapping period, prompting police to locate her.

On Friday, January 5, police discovered Faridah at a friend's residence in Namulesa, where she was consuming beverages and pork. The kidnappers' demand for a ransom of shs2 million using her phone number was exposed as a ruse.

The false report caused unwarranted panic and suspicion in Budondo, Jinja district, disrupting security operations. Mubi expressed concern over the couple's actions, emphasizing the unnecessary strain it imposed on law enforcement efforts to locate the alleged victim and apprehend potential suspects.

Mubi urged the public to refrain from creating dishonest histories, emphasizing the importance of honesty for future prosperity. He called for exemplary conduct in society and highlighted that Faridah's family had already raised shs1.43 million, intending it for her, but upon police intervention, Faridah admitted to orchestrating the kidnapping hoax in collaboration with her husband. Their motive was to obtain funds for their four children's school fees, citing the financial challenges of January as the children were set to return to school in early February.

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