Ugandan lawyer Paul Wanyoto has handed himself over to police after a month and a half on the run.
Wanyoto is implicated in the alleged extortion of 1.4 billion Shillings from two South Korean Nationals together with former Kampala Metropolitan South Regional Police Commander Siraj Bakaleke and four other police officers.
The two South Koreans, Park Seunghoon and Jang Shingu Un were looking for gold amounting to USD 1.5 million. However, they were arrested from Acacia Mall in Kampala; where they were due to meet their lawyer Paul Wanyoto.
Reports indicate that on the day of the meeting, the dealers were surrounded by security operatives, put on gunpoint and asked to hand over the money in their possession. A total of 1.4 billion Shillings was handed over to the police officers before the two South Koreans were arrested and detained at Katwe Police Station.
It later turned out that the deployment had been sanctioned by Siraj Bakaleke after a tipoff from the lawyer who indicated that two of his clients were involved in dubious activities and he had a suspicion that they were financial terrorists.
The South Koreans in their statements to police also pinned Wanyoto as the only person who was aware of the money they had in their possession and that they intended to buy gold using the money. Park Seunghoon says they were arrested, taken to Katwe Police Station where they spent two days and were told that they were facing terrorism charges and would as be deported.
Police officers reportedly bought two air tickets with Emirates air using some of the extorted money. But they missed the flight, creating confusion among the plotters of the deportation. They hurriedly bought new tickets with Rwanda Air but were netted before the South Koreans boarded the plane.
Four Police officers, who had escorted the duo, were arrested on site and detained at Nalufenya for weeks before they were released on bond. They include; Isaac Munezero the Officer in charge Crime Intelligence Katwe police station, George Kayongo, Kenneth Zirintuusa and Patrick Ochen.
Wanyoto was then summoned to explain his role in the scam. Police began searching for him in all his known addresses after he failed to appear on the day stated in the summons.
But on Thursday, March 29, Wanyoto walked to Central Police Station building and handed himself over to detectives at the Kampala Metropolitan Criminal Investigations headquarters after which he was interrogated and later released on police bond.
According to the police spokesperson Emilian Kayima, the lawyer had earlier been summoned but failed to heed the summons and it is this summons that he came with to police.
“He was summoned earlier. He came and recorded a statement,” Kayima said in a telephone interview.
While a criminal case file investigation at KMP is ongoing, there is a separate disciplinary case investigation against Bakaleke and the four other officers in connection with the alleged fraud.