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Security raids BoU again, re-arrest three top officials

Bank of Uganda was rocked by a controversial currency scandal. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Security forces have  Wednesday June 19 raided Central Bank and re-arrested three top officials in a fresh scandal that rocked the Bank of Uganda since last week.

According to sources, the three officials include Mr. Simon Peter Zaribugire from the currency department, Mr. Milton Opio, the director of Security and Ms. Caroline Nankabirwa from the procurement department.

Security forces on Wednesday June 19 raided Central Bank and re-arrested three top officials in connection to the currency saga.

According to sources, the three officials included Mr. Simon Peter Zaribugire from the currency department, Mr. Milton Opio, the director of Security and Ms. Caroline Nankabirwa from the procurement department.

A source declined to confirm whether the three top officials will also appear in Court.

On Wednesday last week, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit and police arrested several BoU officials in charge of currency, procurement and security and officials from the Customs Department, airport police officers and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) staff. “Our key point is why and how did it (airline) carry extra cargo and for who?” Lt Col Nakalema said.

On Friday, Lt Col Edith Nakalema issued a statement saying the arrests had been carried out in liaison with CID and BoU to conduct a special investigation on the matter pertaining to the bank’s procurement and supply chain activities.

In a statement on Friday, BoU Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said he requested the Anti-Corruption Unit of State House to investigate the matter after his staff discovered the anomaly.

A statement by Uganda Revenue Authority has since said that the 5 extra cargo pallets contained other cargo which belonged to various individuals / companies / organizations.

“As per normal customs clearance procedure, this cargo was offloaded into the licensed bonds at the airport and subsequently the owners made customs declarations, paid applicable taxes and Customs physically verified each consignment to ascertain accuracy and consistency with the declaration and released the goods to the owners,” read a statement by Dickson Kateshumbwa, the URA Customs Commissioner.

Some of the organisations/entities said to have had cargo on the said plane, include businessman Charles Mbiire and Omar Mandela’s Mandela Millers Ltd. A number of UN agencies as well as USAID, Ministry of Health and other private businesses have also been named by authorities as having had cargo on the said plane.

Uganda Radio Network (URN) a local news has Wednesday reported Criminal Investigations Department revealed to them that after investigating top BoU officials, the investigating team led by CID Director Grace Akullo found leads in three currency centres and that heads of three currency units in Mbale, Kabale and Fort Portal are being interrogated on whether they had prior knowledge on the five extra palettes that were transported on the BoU chartered plane.

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