Taban Idi Amin, the Internal Security Organisation deputy Director-General, spent the better half of his Friday at the Criminal Investigations Directorate in Kibuli. The police were grilling him over his alleged involvement in a Shs30 billion scam.
The CID spokesperson, Charles Twine told journalists that it is suspected that Taban participated in the fraud that saw American nationals lose $8 million which is equivalent to shs30 billion in an incident that happened in 2019.
The incident is also connected to a gold scam that police bust a few weeks ago. This involved one Lt Enoch Katwesigye, a retired UPDF officer, city Lawyer Simon Peter Musangala and a police officer identified as Martin Bwayo.
“In 2019, two American nationals had transacted business involving gold in Cameroon, a West African country. They had bought gold worth $5 million and left it with the dealers to ship it for them to Canada. The consignment indeed travelled from Cameroon via Nairobi to Dubai and later Canada,” Twine said.
He however noted that when the consignment reached Canada, the two American businessmen realized these people had duped them. Inside were aluminium bars instead of gold.
“The Americans allege that a week after, they received a phone call from Uganda. The caller identified himself as Idi Taban Amin and the head of intelligence services in Uganda. They say Amin told them they intercepted their gold from Cameroon in Uganda. And the people who were taking it didn’t have genuine documents.” The CID spokesperson added.
According to information from CID, it is then that the deputy ISO Director gave the two Americans a two-week ultimatum to come and sort the mess and take their gold or else they would lose it and looked for, for possible prosecution in Uganda.
“They chartered a plane and a person who identified himself as Col. Frank which was a pseudo name but his real name is Lt Enoch Katwesigye with a group of people escorted the Americans to the home of Taban Amin.”
It is said that the deputy ISO Director-General then provided the two Americans with a list of 13 people that they had to pay money to before being cleared to take their gold.
“They completed the payment but never received the gold,” Twine said.
Earlier last month, police had arrested Katwesigye, lawyer Musangala and Bwayo over the same gold scam.
Apparently, the Americans travelled to Uganda, paid $3.8 million before the group gave them the gold. However, on their way to Entebbe Airport, the group led by Katwesigye ambushed and ransacked their car and took all the gold bars.
Gold exported by Uganda in recent years gone up to become the second-largest export. This is after coffee and last year, the county earned shs590 billion from the same.
However, despite this trend, the number of fraudsters involved in gold scams in Uganda has more than tripled. Many people, especially foreign nationals have fallen prey to them.
Many of the fraudsters work closely with some security officers to pull off their scams. They sell fake gold to investors and take their money. Whereas Police have arrested a number of them, many are still at large.
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