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BREAKING

Two BoU officials charged, sent to Luzira as currency scandal rages

(L-R) Two Bank of Uganda officials, Francis Kakeeto 36, and Vito Wanyama, 42,  have been thrown in the coolers for involvement in connection with irregularities in procurement and importation of currency into the country. (PHOTO/RACHEAL)

KAMPALA – Two Bank of Uganda officials have on Friday, June 21 been remanded to Luzira Prison over corruption in connection with procurement and importation of currency into the country.

Francis Kakeeto 36, a banker working as a Branch Manager of Bank of Uganda, Mbale Branch and his assistant Fred Vito Wanyama, 42, were arraigned before the Magistrates Court at Kololo presided over by Mr Abert Asiimwe.

They denied charges of abuse of office and corruption, the offences which attract a maximum sentence of seven years in jail.

According to the charges sanctioned by the Director of Public Prosecutions Mike Chibita, the duo was assigned by their employer (BOU) to carry out pre-shipment inspection of printed currency in France but in abuse of their respective offices allowed the inclusion of unauthorized cargo on a chartered plane.

In the alternative, the two suspects are facing a charge of corruption in which they are said to have corruptly neglected to perform their duties by failing to report unauthorized cargo on a plane fully chartered by Bank of Uganda.

Prosecution states that the two allegedly committed the offences on April 26, 2019, between France, Belgium and Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.

The duo has been remanded to Luzira Prison because their sureties did not have proper identification documents to present in court as a requirement if one is to be granted bail.

They will return to court on Tuesday, June 25, next week to make a fresh bail application as police investigations further continue.

The arrest and charging of Mr. Kakeeto and Mr. Wanyama followed a complaint registered by Governor Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Mutebile to state house Anti-corruption unit after he became suspicious of extra cargo that entered the country abode a chartered BOU plane that was carrying printed material.

Reports indicate that the plane landed at Entebbe International Airport on April 27, 2019, and was cleared by URA officials in the presence of Bank of Uganda officials and Aviation security .

However, according to a statement from Bank of Uganda, the chartered plane had to carry 20 pallets instead of 25.

The alleged anomaly was detected during the verification of the consignment hence the commencement of investigations which have so far revealed that the extra cargo belongs to a powerful businessman in the country and organisations.

A joint investigation between CID and State House Anti-corruption unit has so far led to the arrest of a number Bank of Uganda officials.

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