Crime & Investigation

Inside Story: Why CID are Holding 4 BoU Staff

On Wednesday morning, senior officials from Bank of Uganda traveled to the Criminal Investigations Department in Kibuli, Kampala to respond to the conditions of the bond granted to them last week.

The officials, some from the currency department, were first arrested last Tuesday as part of a wider investigation into the extra pallets found on a plane chartered by BOU to carry banknotes from France to Belgium.

Detectives from State House and Police quizzed the officials for two days.

They were released without charge but investigations into the incident continued.

Police and State House officials took statements from several businessmen and international organisations on the contents of the pallets.

These said they paid logistics companies to deliver their imports in Uganda and were not interested in which plane their consignments would be delivered.

Police reviewed these statements and corroborated this information with declarations to Uganda Revenue Authority.

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On reporting to CID headquarters on Wednesday, three officials were told to return to work while those who traveled to France to pick the money and those who picked the cargo from Entebbe Airport on April 27, 2019, were held.

It is understood the four detained officials were tactfully moved from Kibuli to Kabalagala Police Station for another round of interrogation.

An official, who is regularly briefed about the BoU investigation, told ChimpReports on Thursday morning that detectives found contradictions in the central bank’s statements but that they were later explained.

“The staff who traveled to France said they found one extra pallet on the plane. But their colleagues who received money at Entebbe said they found four extra pallets on the aircraft. When they were asked to explain the contradiction, those who traveled to France said they didn’t see the extra pallets which were in the plane’s belly. Those who picked money from the airport said they saw the extra pallets as they were being offloaded from the plane’s belly,” said the official, who preferred anonymity so as to speak freely.

“Detectives wanted this contradiction fully explained. The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) will have to decide whether there was an case of negligence,” said the reliable source.

Drama

The BoU case has since generated intense public debate due to contradictions by government officials.

Police publicist Fred Enanga was quoted as saying police had searched homes of BoU staff and that some documents which could possibly link central bank officials to possible illegal printing of currency were discovered from their homes.

But the central bank later dismissed the allegation as false as their homes were not searched.

Enanga also said police were querying the request to print money initiated by the director of banking at BoU and whether the process was approved by the board of directors.

This website understands the Director Banking at BoU has nothing to do with printing of money.

The Central Bank has a director in charge of the currency department.

Speaking at an event in Kampala on Wednesday, the head of State House Anti-corruption Unit, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, observed: “We are not investigating any extra cash brought into the economy, we are investigating the excess luggage that got onto the Bank of Uganda fully chartered plane.”

She added: “We now know the owners of the luggage.”

BoU has since dismissed claims of printing an excess of Shs 90bn. The cargo from France had denominations of 5,000.

A logistics expert said Shs 90bn in Shs 5,000 notes “is 360 trunk sizes cases, for which you need two full billion vans with a small spillover into a third one.”

But a detective said, “This is a very sensitive issue. We are going to get to the bottom of this matter.”

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