PDM: Seven in police custody over extortion, used money for buying phones

The board members of Amootom Parish in custody at Kapelebyong Central Police Station on May 21, 2024

Atleast seven members of Amootom Parish SACCO board in Okungur Sub County, Kapelebyong District are in police custody over extortion of money from beneficiaries of Parish Development Model.
The suspects detained under File Number GEF-003/2024 at Kapelebyong CPS, are reported to have extorted over shs1.8million from unsuspecting beneficiaries.
They include; Ogwang Silver – Board Chairperson, Akulo Margaret – Board Secretary, Acham Sarah - Treasurer, Opiding Moses – Chairperson loans, Emitu Charles – Secretary loans, Akiyai Beatrice – treasurer loans and Ekanya Simon – Chairperson supervisory committee.
Others at large are; Adolu Joseph – Vice Chairperson Board and Opedun Ben – Member.
After their arrest on May 20, 2024, the suspects confessed to have received at least shs30,000 from a number of beneficiaries, describing the fees as operational fees.
“We used some money for buying phones for the board chairperson, treasurer and secretary. Some money was used for rent, saving box and stationery,” Silver Ogwang, the board chairperson confessed.
He added that they got an office for the SACCO operations.
According to the police, the suspects have written their statements and investigations are undergoing.
Tom Otukol, the Resident District Commisioner for Kapelebyong said that the suspects must refund the money to the beneficiaries as the law takes its tall on them.
“They must sit with the Parish development committee to forge ways to refund the money,” Otukol, emphasized.
He also blamed the SACCO leaders for being ignorant of the set guidelines of Parish Development Model.
“Within one week, they must refund the money. The leaders for the board should know their responsibilities,” Otukol said.
The suspects contravene Section 3 sub section 3.6 of PDM user handbook of October 2022 and section 2.2c of the loans policy. The loans policy stipulates the board is supposed to pick not more than shs5,000 from beneficiaries as loans application fees.