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BoU currency scam probe extended to regional currency centres

FILE PHOTO: BOU headquarters

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Investigations into the extra cargo that was loaded on a Bank of Uganda (BoU) chattered plane have been extended to currency centres in Mbale, Kabale and Fort Portal.

A Senior detective at the Criminal Investigations Department has intimated to Uganda Radio Network (URN), that after interrogating top BoU officials, the investigating team led by the Criminal Investigations Director Grace Akullo found leads to the three currency Centres.

The detective explained that heads of BoU currency centres in the three regions are being interrogated on whether they had prior knowledge on the five extra pallets that were transported on the chartered plane, which had on board, newly printed Uganda Shilling notes. The source said that the CID team is also probing how and why the directors were transferred to regional currency centres from the head office in Kampala, prior to the arrival of the BoU consignment.

Available information indicates that the Central Bank sent its officials to pick printed cash Overseas, and alerted Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) about a consignment that required fast clearance.

The chartered plane landed at Entebbe International Airport on April 27 and was cleared by URA customs department in the presence of BoU officials, BoU security, aviation security, police and other security agencies. But it was reported that instead of the expect 20 pallets, the consignment had 25 pallets.

Sources indicated that the head of Mbale currency centre who was swiftly called to witness the offloading of BoU consignment became suspicious of the extra pallets and briefed BoU Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime.

On May 3, Tumusiime wrote to the Head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Lt Col Edith Nakalema to conduct a probe into an extra cargo on the BoU plane, leading to the arrest of a number of officials, suspected of having a role to play in the scandal.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga, on Monday, told journalists in Kampala that police are investigating the entire procurement and supply chain to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the investigation, the amount and serial numbers of the notes printed and how the non-official but genuine notes could have come up.

“The line of questioning is on how the process supporting the printing of the banknotes arose and whether there was any wrongdoing on the part of the Bank or not,” Enanga said.

However, government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo said that the ongoing investigation was not in any way about extra printed cash, but about the extra cargo on a bank of Uganda Chartered plane. According to Opondo, the extra cargo belongs to 13 individuals and organization.




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