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‘Rogue’ Tour Operator Arrested for Fraud

Tourism Police on Monday arrested what was described as a rogue tour operator accused of fleecing tourists of up to $21,500 (about Shs 80million).

Richard Tusasibwe, the director Gatatu Safaris Limited in Kigezi was taken into custody after he was arrested by police at Arcadia Cottages in Kabale; near Lake Bunyonyi; where he had taken other tourists for a trip.

According to Tourism Police Commander, CP Frank Mwesigwa, Tusasibwe was arrested after being identified by covert teams at the check-in.

By Monday evening he was being held at Kabale Police station and charged with obtaining money by false pretense.

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Tusasibwe is said to have been contracted by 5 American tourists to organize chimpanzee and gorilla tracking expedition in Uganda.

After an airport pickup and arrival in Kisoro, the suspect allegedly abandoned the tourists at a lodge and has been on the run for the past two weeks.

Uganda Tourism Board Quality Assurance Manager, Samora Semakula said the board was working round the clock to ensure that quality standards and the law are upheld in the tourism sector and that rogue operators face the law.

“We are pleased that the police have arrested a rogue operator who has been on the run for the last two weeks since this case was brought to our attention. Rogue tour operators are a peril to the growth and development of the sector. Uganda Tourism Board will continue to work with the tourism police and other players in the sector to ensure that the vice is brought to a conclusive end,” Semakula said.

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UTB earlier this year kicked of a registration and licensing exercise of all tour operators and facilities in the tourism value chain, with hope to effectively regulate the tourism sector and promote quality assurance across the value chain.

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