By Spy Uganda reporter
Kampala: Investigations into allegations that officials at Bank of Uganda printed excess money to the tune of Shs90 billion has been extended by police to regional currency centres.
The investigatiosn started last Saturday when State House Anti-Corruption Unit led by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema stormed BoU offices and arrested senior officials, on top of seizing some items from there. Later the police took over the investigations and Fred Enanga revealed that they had recorded statements from BoU officials and obtained documents about the said excess money. But government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo refuted Enanga’s statement during a presser at the Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday.
Although there are varying accounts from different government officials about the investigations, Spy Uganda has learnt from credible sources that 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 who preferred anonymity has revealed to this Website that after interrogating top BoU officials, the investigating team led by the Criminal Investigations Director Grace Akullo, stumbled upon leads pointing to the three currency Centres. The detective explained that heads of BoU Currency Centres in the three regions are under interrogation by police to establish whether they had prior knowledge about the five extra pallets that were transported on the chartered plane, which had on board, newly printed Uganda Shilling notes.
The source said 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. However, it was reported that instead of the expected 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, who reportedly invited Nakalema to conduct investigation into the procurement anomaly in a letter dated May 3, 2019, which he wrote to her. 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. But Ofwono has since rubbished Enanga’s statements, insisting that the investigations focus on extra cargo found on the plane chartered by BoU, not money. Ofwono noted that the extra cargo belongs to 13 individuals and some organisations whose officials are already being tasked to explain how their cargo found its way on the BoU chartered plane.