The police have arrested 12 suspects for unauthorized transfers of funds worth USD1.8m from a Stanbic bank customer’s accounts to other bank accounts established solely for the purpose of receiving the stolen funds.
The suspects are scheduled to appear before the Anti-Corruption Division in Kololo in connection with a series of computer system intrusions which gave then unauthorised access to a client’s account.
At the direction of the Branch Managers (Garden City, Freedom city Stanbic bank branches), the funds were withdrawn and stolen using forged documents of a Kenyan Passport number AK 0849025 and forged inter Account Transfer Forms all in the names of Mohamed Abdul Hakim Hussein, one of the Company Directors and a signatory of the Account of Nile Energy.
The suspects in conspiracy with selected Stanbic Bank staff both at Garden City and Freedom City branches compromised the account of Nile Energy and effected transactions in Inter Account Transfers (IAT) and made withdraws using 3 accounts that included; Account Number 9030012835107 in the names of Dixon Kagurusi Ampumuza; Account Number 9030021572615 in the names of Petrom Limited and Account Number 9030018628871 in the names of Famane Investments Co. Ltd.
According to Police Spokesman, Fred Enanga, at least 7 cash withdrawals of USD 495,000, USD 287,000 USD 295,000, USD 90,000, USD 60.000, USD 295,000 and USD 495,000 were made by the suspects purporting to be Mohamed Abdul Hakim Hussein, the Director of Nile Energy, while using forged documents.
It was also established that Petron Limited belongs to a one Oscar Kyabukasa Lutaaya and Hashur Rahman, as the Directors while Famane Investments Co. Ltd is owned by Oman Ghebreyesus, Fiona Dede Bwende and Elijah Daniel Wanzu as Directors at Freedom City Branch and Garden City Branch.
“For instance, on the 24.01.2023, cash amounting to USD295,000 was deposited to Account Number 9030018628871 in the names of Famane Investments Co. Ltd, from Nile Energy Account, which was withdrawn, against a cheque signed by Oman Ghebreyesus and Elijah Daniel Wanzu. An additional USD 250,000 was also withdrawn on the same day, and Ug.shs.139million, deposited into Account Number 9030019904244 in the names of Fiona Dede Bwende, who is also a Director of Famane Investments,” said Police Spokesperson Enanga.
“Another transaction of USD 782,000 was made from Nile Energy to the Account of Petrom Ltd whose Director Dixon Ampumuza Kagurusi is still on the run. The transfers were made in two instalments of USD 495.000 and USD 287.000 respectively and deposited into Account Number 9030021572615 of Petrom Ltd, that was withdrawn immediately,” Enanga noted.
He revealed that on February, 3, a one Tefera Okubalassie Robert an Eritrean Refugee, was intercepted with two Inter Account Transfer forms, with a face value of USD 988,200, that was to be effected from the Nile Energy Account and thereafter, credited into an Account Number in the names of Dixon Kagurusi Ampumuza, the Director of Petrom Ltd.
Enanga added that the suspect also had in his possession, a Kenyan Passport Number AK 0849025 in the names of Mohamed Abduhakim Hussein, which prompted the bank to verify with the Account holders who denied any authorisations.
The suspect was arrested and found with USD 4900 and Ugx.shs. 600,000 in his possession which was exhibited.
Immediately after, 3 Directors of Famane Investments Co. Ltd, were arrested. Upon interrogation, they admitted to having received the stolen cash which they used in a gold transaction of USD 250,000 with Mansoor and Sam Fred.
However, the Police mouthpiece revealed that no supporting documents were provided to support the alleged transaction.
He added that efforts are also in place to trace a one Dixon Ampumuza Kagurusi, the Director of Petrom Ltd, who is still in hiding.
He indicated that so far 12 suspects have been arrested, out of whom 9 are to be charged to court on the 13.02.2023 on charges of causing financial loss and money laundering.
These include; Tefera Okubalassie Robert who was intercepted with a forged passport and funds transfer form in the bank, Ayusiga Moses, the branch Manager of Stanbic Bank, Garden City Branch, who allegedly effected the two transfers of USD 287,000 and 295,000 from Nile Energy Account to Petrom Ltd in a fraudulent and illegal manner, Natukunda Brian, a former employee of Stanbic Bank, who introduced Kagurusi Dixon Ampumuza (on the run) to Moses Ayusiga, the 3 Directors of Famane Investments Co. Ltd, namely; Oman Ghebreyesus, Fiona Dede Bwende, Elijah Daniel Wanzu, in who company account number, money was received and Ssekito David, the Manager at Freedom City Branch.
Other charges of forgery and utterance of forged documents are being processed.
He said the arrests send a clear and unmistakable message to those who conspire to exploit the banking systems to steal client’s deposits and services, not to use their positions and user rights, to steal from hard working citizens and investors.
Stanbic Speaks out
In relation to the arrest of its employees, Stanbic Bank Uganda clarified that there was no “intrusion into the bank’s systems” as alleged by some media reports.
They added that the cases of fraud are on the rise in the financial services sector, appealed to customers and Ugandans in general to remain vigilant and safeguard personal and business banking details to avoid becoming victims of fraud.
The bank added that no further comments will be made on the matter as the case is before court.
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