Currency Cargo: BOU Staff Released as Detectives Probe International Organisations

The State House Anti-Corruption desk and police have released six Bank of Uganda staff who were arrested this Tuesday.

The officials from currency and procurement departments were being interrogated by detectives on circumstances under which five suspicious pallets were found aboard an aircraft chartered to exclusively carry banknotes from France in April 2019.

The BoU staff were being held in different police stations including Kireka and Kampala Central Police Station where statements were recorded from them.

“They’ve been released (today Friday) but the investigation continues,” said a detective who preferred anonymity to speak freely.

Bank of Uganda today issued a statement saying Governor Emmanuel Mutebile asked for Lt Col Edith Nakalema to investigate the matter after his staff “reported an anomaly in the inventory of the expected consignment.”

ChimpReports understands that while there was no currency loss or extra printing, the Governor informed the President that the charter flight hired by the currency printer breached the cargo exclusivity contract and 5 pallets containing unknown cargo came with the currency and were cleared by URA.

BOU received the currency it ordered.

The Printer of the Uganda currency has been identified as French firm Oberthur. 

It is the BOU receiving team at the airport who reported the exclusivity breach to Mutebile in their reports.

URA and Aviation security officials have since been questioned over the incident.

We’ve also learnt that BOU officials do not fly with the cargo but verify the printing and witness the loading.

The charter flight company and URA are now seen as starting points for the investigation. “BOU officials focused on the currency consignment and are being interrogated about what happened at loading,” said a source.

Mutebile today said BoU staff have been cooperating with authorities investigating the matter.

Investigators want to establish why the suspicious consignment was placed on the chartered plane and who received it.

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said some of the items belonged to United Nations and other international organizations.

BoU hires De La Rue (UK), G&D (Germany) and Oberthur (France) to print different Uganda currency denominations.

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