Kampala – Government of Uganda has red-flagged Alliance in Motion Global, a multi-level networking and marketing company over allegations of fraud and human trafficking.
The company which was registered in Uganda eight years ago, is said to have its roots in the Philippines. In Uganda, it operates from Mabirizi Complex in Kampala city as a distributor of nutritional supplements manufactured by Nature’s Way from the US. The supplements include Alkaline Coffee, MyChocco, a chocolate drink for children, and Liven 24/7 among others.
It also operates a Ponzi scheme dealing in food supplements. Under the arrangement, they claim that one gains points by recruiting others to join the business as one of the measures to open doors of opportunity and prosperity and empowering distributors to achieve financial independence and economic stability.
But Agnes Igoye, the deputy national coordinator of the trafficking in persons’ department at the ministry of Internal Affairs says that they have received more than 500 complaints of young people, mostly girls who have been defrauded and trafficked by the group over the past two months.
The company has been recruiting and moving youths from Kampala Metropolitan Area, Busoga, Ankole, West Nile, Kasese, Tooro, Bugisu especially in Mbale City, Teso, Greater Masaka especially Masaka city and Lyantonde district. Igoye says that the agents target unemployed youth aged between 15 and 25 with promises of getting rich quickly by being involved in creating networks.
According to Igoye, the ministry has since established that Arua alone has more than 500 girls aged 17 to 25 years that left school after falling prey to the group’s antics. Most of the girls in Arua city, according to Igoye, were recruited from Masindi, Soroti, Omoro, Pader, Lamwo and Kitgum.
“Alliance in Motion are continuously recruiting boys and girls but disguising as a company that sells supplements. The victims are recruited from the districts of Acholi, Teso and Lango. Those are the ones being taken to Arua mainly aged 17-28 years. They are recruiting them and asking them to pay Shs 250,000 either as membership, others are told to buy a laptop for training, Shs 250,000 for rent and then Shs 100,000 for administration. Once they reach Arua, they realise the jobs are not there, that is when they are given receipts claiming that the money they paid bought food supplements, they are supposed to hawk around and are supposed to recruit two others,” said Igoye.
“The victims in Arua were over 500, 200 were being trained on how to recruit others. Two people from Alliance in Motion; Rose Arinaitwe and Boaz Yesiga were arrested and they are charging them for obtaining money by false pretence because this is clearly a case of human trafficking because these people were not told that when you reach Arua, you will be given food supplements and then you begin hawking. You’re already using deceit to recruit them.” she added.
The national coordinator of trafficking in persons department ACP Julius Twinomujuni has since liaised with police and other spy agencies to track down all the victims of Alliance in Motion Global’s fraud and trafficking tricks. Igoye explains that the hunt for whoever has been recruiting and defrauding unsuspecting students and youths is ongoing. Igoye says they have red-flagged the organisation and shared information with all security and leadership authorities in areas where the organisation has offices.
Jonathan Odot, one of the victims says he received a call from an anonymous female who convinced him to apply for a job opportunity. He was asked to go with Shs 250,000 which his mother borrowed from village savings and credit cooperation (Sacco).
Barbra Faith from Lira, says she was working in a boutique when she was called by a friend who later spoke to her relatives and convinced them that there was a job for a trainer where she would earn Shs 350,000 every month. But upon arrival, she was told never to tell her parents about the job she would be doing.
“When I came here, I found it was different from what she told me when I was still at home. She told me that I would be working here, training people in the community on how to open small-scale businesses and also conducting general health training. And that the payment is not fixed, they were going to pay me Shs 350,000 as the starting payment. My relatives were telling me not to come but I insisted because I wanted to prove with my own eyes whether the business is okay or not. So I came here, and found that I was working with M-Global but from there what they told me that I should never let my parents know about what I’m doing in Arua,”
More than 20 died in the hands of traffickers internally and externally in 2021 according to a report by the ministry of Internal Affairs. On average, more than Shs 20 billion is lost in fraudulent transactions.