BusinessCrimeSpecial Reports

Insider Trading: Stanbic Bank Returns Luzira Property Titles to Beatrice Odong; Global Markets Boss, Kitungulu Summoned by Police  

Stanbic Bank has reached a partial consent judgement Macdowel Foods and Beverages in a court case in which the financial institution is accused of selling a client’s property to its senior officials.

Stanbic, according to court documents seen by ChimpReports on Friday, agreed to “debit the sum of Shs 940m from Macdowel’s account which sum shall be in full settlement of the bank’s claims under the consent decree dated 22nd August 2019.”

This money was already deposited in installments up to June 2020 but the bank had declined to debit it because they preferred to sell her property during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Macdowel acquired a loan from Stanbic back in 2017 and mortgaged its properties located on Plots 13, 4, 5 and 6 Works Close, Luzira.

Because Macdowel would sometimes fail to pay loan installments on time, she entered a consent judgement to pay the outstanding loan before June 30, 2020 which she did.

However, before the deadline for payment, senior bank employees purported to purchase her properties from the bank using a front company named Myriad Investment Club.

When Odongo approached the bank to inquire, she was told to vacate her premises as they had already been sold.

The bank’s lawyer Andrew Kamuteera Munanura, is accused of taking over the role of auctioneer as he accepted a bid from staff of the bank and recommending them to dfcu to obtain a loan to pay the bid price of Shs 1bn.

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Odong returned to High Court challenging the manner in which her property was grabbed by bank staff and yet she had even paid the bank.

Before the High Court, Odongo said her company complied and paid off the loan fully, only to learn later that their property has been sold off in March this year.

The property, according to Odongo, was acquired by Stanbic’s senior staff who used a front company they formed named Myriad Investment Club registered earlier this year.

She also reported the matter to police.

“Initially, the bank’s lawyer (one Andrew Munanura) claimed it had sold the property by public auction advertised in the Monitor to take place on 6th December 2019 yet there was in fact no auction,” Odong said in a letter to the Police’s CID.

“Our properties were actually grabbed through an insider dealing scheme between the bank and its employees using a front Myriad Investment Club Limited.”

The bank promised to cooperate with authorities investigating the matter as well as defend its case in courts of law.

Titles returned

ChimpReports now understands that following intense discussions between Stanbic Bank and Odong, the matter has been resolved with Stanbic agreeing to take Shs 940m which was already on Macdowel’s account number 9030008716578 and return the sold property to her.

According to the consent decree, upon credit of the sums to Macdowel’s loan account held with Stanbic, the bank agreed to “handover to the applicant (Macdowel) the certificates of title together with release of mortgage instruments for the securities comprised in LRV 3803 Folio 13 Plot 1 Works Close, Luzira; LRV 3681 Folio 14 plot 5 Works Close Luzira and LRV 4057 Folio 19 Plot 6 Works Close, Luzira.”

The partial consent judgement was signed on October 22, 2020 by Stanbic Bank’s Sebalu & Lule Advocates and Odongo’s lawyers, Nambale, Nerima & Co Advocates.

Emmanuel Rukeeba of Stanbic Bank signed on the partial consent as a Director for Myriad Investment Club Limited.

Kampala High Court will soon determine if Macdowel is entitled to general, punitive and exemplary damages and costs.

Police case

Regarding the police case, this investigative website understands Kenneth Kitungulu, Stanbic Bank’s Head of Global Markets and other implicated officials have since been summoned by Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Deputy Director, Elly Womanya for an “interview and statement recording.”

Womanya sent summons to Kitungulu

Several other Stanbic officials were summoned to appear at CID headquarters in Kibuli this past Wednesday but didn’t turn up.

In a statement issued on September 28, Stanbic pledged to work with authorities to resolve the matter.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, Stanbic Uganda is committed to due process. Accordingly, Stanbic Uganda will carefully consider if the allegation of inappropriate involvement of its employees in the foreclosure process has any merit. In addition, Stanbic Uganda will fully cooperate with the authorities to bring this matter to a close.”

According to the police summons, Kitungulu is expected to explain “the fraudulent sale of mortgaged property”.

Stanbic’s Head of Global Markets, Kenneth Kitungulu has been summoned by police alongside other senior officials

Womanya wrote to Kitungulu: “Special Investigations Division is investigating the above indicated case to the prejudice of Ms Beatrice Odongo.”

The company’s shareholders as per its registration papers Kitungulu who is the Executive and Head, Global Markets at Stanbic Bank.

Others are Lawrence Kaweesa – Global Business Manager Stanbic Bank; Allan Muhinda – Interest Rates Dealer Stanbic Bank; Daisy Nitwe-Corporate – Treasury Sales Dealer Stanbic Bank; Emmanuel Rukeeba – Head Products and Analytics Stanbic Bank; Maureen Kembabazi Katwebaze who works with Stanbic IBTC in Nigeria and one ‘Thaib Lubega, formerly Treasury Manager Stanbic Bank Uganda now working with Uganda Development Bank (UDB).

Odongo told Police that “Kenneth Kitungulu and Daisy Nitwe signed the sale agreement as the buyer’s directors.

The sale agreement was drawn by the bank’s legal department, colleagues of the buyers’ directors/shareholders. It bears the stamp of Head PBB Credit, Stanbic and signature of Denis Lugoloobi, Senior Manager Credit Evaluation signing for the bank.”

She also said the bank employees grabbed the six properties at a low price of Shs 1bn Valuation reports showed a market price of Shs 4bn.

In her complaint, Odongo asked Police to investigate the matter and arrest the people involved.

Under the Mortgage Act, the sale of mortgage property by a bank to its employees is punishable by not less than two years in prison.

Legal experts say the sale through a front company also amounts to money laundering. This news website understands Bank of Uganda is also following up the matter.

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