Bank of Uganda probes intensifies

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By Uganda Vanguard

KAMPALA – Investigations into Bank of Uganda (BoU) money saga have deepened as security interrogate more people tangled in the now scandalous transfer of Shs350 billion from France. According to a source, investigations by Police Criminal Investigations Department and State House Anti-Corruption Unit have triggered fear among other establishments linked to the saga.

Several top officials from BoU, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), aviation security, private entities and businessmen whose merchandise was found on the plane, clearing agents and the owner of the chartered plane have been lined up for questioning this week.

On Wednesday, Police stormed BoU and arrested six people now in custody as investigations continue. Mr Banzinzi, Carol Nankabirwa, Milton Baruku and Julie Piloyo are some of BoU officials picked.

The operation was carried out after President Yoweri Museveni directed Inspector General of Police Martin Ochola and State House Anti-Corruption head Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema after BoU official raised fear over the scandal.

There are claims that some other Shs90 billion extra was illegally printed that was on the plane but disappeared at Entebbe International Airport. BoU and government have dismissed the claim as unfounded.

The Shs350 billion was packed in 20 pallets but there were extra five pallets, which authorities say belong to 13 private entities including United Nations (UN) and United States Agency for Development (USAID).

Uganda Vanguard has also learned that the others were Mandela Millers (light wall panels), Jamani Investment Ltd (sun dry and x-ray equipment) and business tycoon Charles Mbire (deboric adhesive). The list also includes Amptech (U) Ltd (pumps and accessories) and Ministry of Health with donated mobile supplies.

The money was flown in to Entebbe from Liege Airport France on April 27, 2019 aboard a Ms Kuene++ Nagel cargo plane.

Investigators are trying to find out how private cargo could be loaded on a plane chartered by BoU to only carry cash.

According to BoU governor, his staff realized an anomaly in the inventory that prompted him to call on State Houses unit for investigations. It is not clear why he did not involve Police.

URA which cleared the private cargo says the required procedures was followed to clear the merchandised. In a statement issued on Friday, URA spokesperson Jamile Senyonjo warned BoU to stop dragging URA in its procurement scandal.

Charles admits that the cargo is his but is not sure how it ended up on the plane.

“It is just 20 litres of adhesive glue for my boat. I bought it from London and gave it to a shipping agent, Allied Cargo. How it ended on the plane, I do not know. I only went and picked from the airport,” he said.  The company could not be reached for a comment among other private entities.

Bank of Uganda staff are being held for not raising a red flag after they found out that there was extra cargo on the plane chartered by the central bank to only carry cash. Two BoU officials Mabale and Kabale were sent to France to witness the packing of the cash.

Meanwhile a gospel artists has realized a song calling for Gods intervention in BoU that of recent was at centre of other scandals of closing commercial banks over the last 25 years.

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