Flashy South Sudanese national Lawrence Lual Malong has been jailed in Uganda over fraudulent gold dealings.
Malong, who rose to fame after a video of him ‘swimming’ in dollars went viral in 2018, was handed a six-year jail term alongside two others by the Ugandan Anti-Corruption court on Tuesday.
The court found the three guilty of obtaining $1 million (Ksh109 million) through false pretenses.
The other convicts are Mike Lota, a Congolese national, and Zikusooka alias James Byaruhanga, a businessman in Kajansi Central Town, Wakiso District.
The three were charged with fraud in March 2019 following a complaint filed by an Ethiopian national.
The charge sheet read that between February 2017 and December 2018 at different places in Kampala, Malong, Lota and Zikusooka obtained $1.9 million from businessman Wegnew Desire purporting that they were selling him 150kg of gold, which was never delivered.
The accused, Wegnew revealed in a TV interview, approached him purporting to sell him gold at $23,000 per kilogramme.
“When I paid them money for the kilogramme, they told me that the shipment was not possible for small amounts. They asked me for more money such that they can ship five kilogrammes. I flew to Dubai but while there, they called me to Uganda and they told me to give them more money such that they could sell me 150kgs,” he said.
In the deal, Malong offered himself as a license holder for gold trade while Lota was the seller.
Malong had passed off to gold dealers as a son of a general in South Sudan during his dealings with other foreign businessmen said to have lost millions in the fraud.
The accused attracted the attention of the Kenyan media and even had an interview with Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange in 2018 where he bragged that his fortunes were from ‘Lord Jesus Christ’.