The implicated staffs are Mutenywa, a lab assistant and Budigi Ruharara, the chief technician in the Chemistry Lab at Makerere University.
The two are at large for their alleged involvement in defrauding a South American businessman up to US$ 200,000.
He said Budigi, who is retiring from the university, used an emergency exit door to access the Physical Chemistry Lab with three non-university staff to analyze certain samples of gold to ascertain their authenticity for possible transaction with an investor.
Apparently, the investor was being used by Assi Soubhi, a resident of Bogota in Colombia and a dealer in rare and precious gemstones who had been defrauded by the same group three years ago.
The two had tipped off police, which was monitoring the proceedings from a close location. He said no sooner had the suspects entered the laboratory than police swung into action to arrest them, creating a scuffle that prompted the officers to shoot in the air.
Dr. Wasswa explained that Budigi, whose post retirement contract had just expired and was due to hand over office this week escaped.
The suspects include Stellah Kalungi Dindi, David Kironde, Ronald Kamugisha, Nasser Kibirige and Yazidi Kabonge.
According to Dr. Wasswa, the transactions have been happening without the knowledge of the department.
Asked whether the department has the capacity to test the authenticity of gold, Prof. Muhammad Ntale, a Chemist from the same Department, said everyone with basic knowledge of Chemistry can carry out such tests.
“As long as someone has ever studied basic chemistry and really has been serious, he or she can be able to test this. As a chemist, gold is a substance that doesn’t react and that is why it is easy to test,” Prof. Ntale said.