UMA Unveil Fraud Database to curb financial crime

by Maria Jacinta Kannyange
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The Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) unveiled plans to launch a fraud database to tackle the increasing problem of financial crime within Uganda’s business community.

The database, currently under development will be a crucial and valuable resource for prospective employers and contracting entities, enabling them to conduct thorough due diligence on professionals before hiring their services. 

The database will encompass profiles of individuals who have been implicated in financial fraud across various sectors, streamlining vetting processes for employers and contractors alike.

The database contains crucial information about the fraudster, including their name, contact details, gender, date of the incident, category of fraud, National Identification Number (NIN), work permit, and other relevant supporting documents.

Additionally, the fraud database will also include any information available to the public, such as police case reports, court judgments, or any other information that does not violate the Data Protection and Privacy Act 2019.

Fraud within Uganda’s business sphere primarily surfaces within the financial domain, notably within banks, insurance firms, and telecommunications companies. 

The sector has grappled with significant fraud to the extent that many companies or investors are scared of hiring financial professionals or even leaving operations in their hands for fear of being defrauded.

According to the Annual Police Crime Report of 2023, Ugandans lost cash and valuable assets worth Shs1.8 trillion to criminals in 2023, up from Shs859b the year before, despite overall crime prevalence declining by 1.5 percent that year.

The report highlights that the Police Force recovered Shs80billion out of the Shs1.8 trillion lost and that the  crime of obtaining money by false pretenses being the major contributor to the losses, accounting for Shs723b, pointing to handiwork of scammers and launders.

Analysts attribute this trend to the substantial sums at stake and the widespread impact on individuals. 

According to UMA Board Chairman, Deo Kayemba, manufacturers have reported fraud and sometimes, even when the cases are reported to authorities, they do not come to the public.

He says that most of the members of UMA have at one time lost money to fraudulent people, mainly orchestrated by employees.

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