By Andrew Irumba
As part of a consent agreement, Bank of Uganda (BoU) has agreed to return Shs 277 million to city business tycoon Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia. This is the money which the central bank held after it took over his bank, Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) before it passed it unto to dfcu Bank at a paltry Shs 200Billion in 2016.
The Central Bank had taken over the money which the businessman had deposited as security for running the three forex bureaus.
However, through his lawyers, Sudhir deemed this action as unfair because the bureaus were independent from his Crane Bank.
In December 2018, parties finally sat and agreed to return the same which belonged to the forex bureaus.
According to the consent agreement dated December 19, 2018, the central bank yielded and agreed to return the money.
According to the agreement, Shs 90 million is in respect of Crane Forex Bureau, Shs 92 million is for Stanhope Forex bureau and Shs 90 million for Red Fox Forex Bureau.
The central Bank’s deputy governor Dr Louis Kasekende signed on behalf of Bank of Uganda while Dr.Sudhir signed on behalf of the bureaus.
The Commercial Court’s assistant Deputy Registrar, Lilian Buchana signed and sealed the consent in order to give it a legal back bone.
For more than a year, the parties had engaged in back and forth negotiations over the refund, until the businessman filed a case at the commercial section of the High Court.
By holding onto his money, Sudhir reasoned that Bank of Uganda (BoU) was denying him the opportunity to use the funds in alternative business ventures and by extension denying him profit from such new ventures.
On its part, BoU argued that it was holding onto the money legally pending the determination of the case they filed against the tycoon.