Crime

Ex UNRA Boss, Katongole, Arrested over Shs 6bn Illicit Prime Property

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has arrested Mr Umar Katongole, the Principal Engineer, Ministry of Works and Transport and Ms Haway Sengendo alias Kawa Bitone, a Senior Community Development Officer, Wobulenzi Town Council, Luwero District for illicit enrichment and money laundering.

The IGG said in a statement seen by ChimpReports on Tuesday that contrary to section 31 (1) (b) and Section 31 (2) of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2009, Mr Katongole in 2015, being a Station Engineer of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) owned property whose total value was established to be Shs 6.2bn.

Justice Irene Mulyagonja said the value of the vast prime property was “disproportionate to his income, past known sources of income and assets whose sum for the duration 2008 to 2015 was established by the IGG to be Shs 316m.”

The property in control and possession of Mr Katongole is comprised in Block 26 Plots 280, 281 and 282 Mengo; Block 11 Plots 587 and 826 Kibuga at Kabowa; untitled land at Lusaka Zone, Makindye; Block 180 plots 077, 877, 1395 and 1782 Kyaddondo; Block 260 Plots 722 and 45 Kyaddondo at Ziramumbu.

The IGG further said contrary to Section 3 (a), 116 and 136 (1) (a) of the Anti-money laundering Act (as amended in 2017), Katongole on August 25, 2015, in Kampala District for purposes of disguising the illicit origin of properties comprised in Block 180 Plots 1395, 1782, 677 and 877 land at Wakiso transferred the said properties to Darkins Uganda Ltd knowing or having reason to believe that such properties are proceeds of crime.

It is alleged that between September 3-7, 2015, in Kampala, Mr Katongole also transferred three prime plots in Mengo to Darkins.

The IGG further said Mr Katongole and Ms Sengendo between April 4, 2011 to August 6, 2015, at Tropical Bank Ltd main branch in Kampala deposited Shs 2.8bn on account number 0010102561 for purposes of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of funds knowing of having reasons to believe the funds were proceeds of crime.

At the same bank, the duo on June 27, 2015 for purposes of disguising or concealing origin of funds in the sum of Shs 380m which Mr Katongole withdrew from account number 0010102561 that he jointly operated with her, banked it onto account number 010001718 that she is solely operating at Tropical Bank branch knowing or having reasons to believe that the said funds were proceeds of crime.

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On July 13, 2015, the duo deposited another Shs 446 on the same account at Tropical Bank.

Critics have since urged the IGG to step investigations with the view of arresting the big fish blamed for endemic corruption in the country.

An investigation by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire unearthed rot at the old UNRA administration including collusion to plunder public funds, shoddy construction works and inflating invoices for work done by contractors.

Mr Katongole and Ms Sengendo were expected to be charged before the Anti-corruption court on Tuesday.

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