By Ahmed Matovu

KAMPALA: The Special Police Investigations Division has in custody 9 suspects who are accused of bank fraud and money laundering.

According to a statement released by the Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga, the suspects who include the banks’ branch managers are charged with a series of computer system intrusions which gave them unauthorised access to a client’s account, where they made unauthorised transfers of funds, worth USD1.8M, into other bank accounts, established solely for the purpose of receiving the stolen funds.

Enanga adds that at the direction of the said Branch Managers, the funds were withdrawn and stolen, using forged documents of a Kenyan Passport number AK 0849025 and forged inter Account Transfer Forms, all in the names of Mohamed Abdul Hakim Hussein, one of the Company Directors and  signatories  of the Account, of Nile Energy.

The suspects in conspiracy with the Bank managers both at Garden City and Freedom City branches compromised the account of Nile Energy and effected transactions in Inter Account Transfers (IAT) and made withdraws using 3 accounts that included; Account Number 9030012835107 in the names of Dixon Kagurusi Ampumuza; Account Number 9030021572615 in the names of Petrom Limited and Account Number 9030018628871 in the names of Famane Investments Co. Ltd.

 At least 7cash withdrawals of USD 495,000, USD 287,000, USD 295,000, USD 90,000, USD 60.000, USD 295,000 and USD 495,000 were made by the suspects, purporting to be Mohamed Abdul Hakim Hussein, the Director of Nile Energy, while using forged documents.

 It was also established that Petron Limited belongs to a one Oscar Kyabukasa Lutaaya and Hashur Rahman, as the Directors, while Famane Investments Co. Ltd is owned by Oman Ghebreyesus, Fiona Dede Bwende and Elijah Daniel Wanzu as Directors, at Freedom City Branch and Garden City Branch.

Immediately after, 3 Directors of Famane Investments Co. Ltd, were arrested and upon interrogation, they admitted to having received the stolen cash, which they used in a Gold transaction of USD 250,000 with Mansoor and Sam Fred.

However the police spokesperson revealed that   no supporting documents were provided to support the alleged transactions, adding that efforts are also in place to trace one Dixon Ampumuza Kagurusi, the Director of Petrom Ltd, who is still in hiding.

So far 12 suspects have been arrested, out of whom 9 are to be charged in court on the 13.02.2023 for causing financial loss and money laundering. These include; Tefera Okubalassie Robert, who was intercepted with a forged passport and funds transfer form in the bank, Ayusiga Moses, the branch Manager of Stanbic Bank, Garden City Branch, who allegedly affected the two transfers of USD 287,000 and 295,000 from Nile Energy Account to Petrom Ltd in a fraudulent and illegal manner, Natukunda Brian, a former employee of Stanbic Bank, who introduced Kagurusi Dixon Ampumuza (on the run) to Moses Ayusiga.

Others are  the 3 Directors of Famane Investments Co. Ltd, namely; Oman Ghebreyesus, Fiona Dede Bwende, Elijah Daniel Wanzu, in whose company account number, money was received and Ssekito David, the Manager at Freedom City Branch. Other charges of forgery and utterance of forged documents are being processed.

Enanga noted that these arrests send a clear message to those who conspire to exploit the banking systems to steal clients’ deposits, not to use their positions and user rights, to steal from hard working citizens and investors.

The police officer also commended the Management of Stanbic Bank (U), for boldly coming out to fight this kind of bank fraud.

According to Enanga, most bank frauds and conspiracies involve bankers and other conspirators, who identify bank customers with high cash balances and steal it, after compromising the accounts thus putting the bank at a huge loss.

 Enanga also urged all bank managers and customers to have protective measures and a culture in place to identify potential misuse of computer information and alert the Economic Crimes and Anti-Corruption Division in order to fight such vices.

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