By Andrew Irumba
As the parliamentary probe committee on BoU comes to an end, the Auditor General (AG) Mr.John Muwanga has queried the whereabouts of Shs 272.6 billion of the Shs478 billion that was meant to save Crane Bank.
In a special report, the ombudsman discovered that BoU officials approved and remitted $53.16 million (more than Shs195 billion) to Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) but there is no documentary evidence that the rest of Shs 272 billion was sent.
The money is said to have been released through the bank’s Nostro Account 3582025085001 after BoU officials sent instructions to Citi Bank in New York.
“I traced the accounts in the CBL in the TT requests to CBL Nostro account statement and confirmed that the amounts in the requests tallied with the transfers from the Nostro Account. However, I was not able to confirm the final recipients of the respective transfers from the CBL Nostro account as the account didn’t indicate the beneficiary account names, account numbers and beneficiary bank,” the AG report states in part.
The report also discovered that Shs77.5 billion that BoU officials claim they transferred to 46 Crane Bank branches across the country cannot be detected.
“Crane Bank annual accounts for the period starting January 1, 2016 to January 25, 2017 also could not be traced,” noted the report.
This is one of the latest discoveries in the just concluded probe on the closure of seven commercial banks by parliament’s Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
On Wednesday, COSASE quizzed officials from the central bank lead by the Governor Prof.Emanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and his deputy Dr.Louis Kasekende over various unclear transactions but found difficulties in providing adequate answers.
COSASE is now expected to table the report before parliament by Friday next week after close to three and a half months.
The closed banks include; Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) that was sold to dfcu in 2016.