Police detains two over Equity Bank fraud

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Police detains two over Equity Bank fraud
Tackling criminal gangs requires concerted efforts

Two men have been arrested and detained over alleged fraud in regard to loss of billions of shillings in unsecured loans from Equity bank.

Police detectives on Thursday evening arrested two former employees of Airtel Uganda including  Godfrey Mukwaya and Robert Mugumya and detained them at Kampala Central Police Station (CPS).

The duo, according is  facing fraud related charges of causing financial loss to the bank.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango confirmed the arrest explaining that they are detained at CPS as the investigation continues.

He added that the suspects have been slapped with charges of causing financial loss to the bank.

“I can confirm that the two men are in our custody but I will not give you details because I do not want to jeopadise the investigations” he said in an interview.

Police detectives revealed Mukwaya, a former sales manager at Airtel Uganda used different people to open up bank accounts through which the bank was defrauded of more than Shs10bn.

According to the detectives, Mugumya is linked to 179 fictitious companies that were created to defraud Equity bank using different persons to obtain more than Shs35 billion.

Information available on YouTube channels indicate that Mugumya is the proprietor of Stab group of companies comprising mobile money outlets, mobile banking, hotels and a hospital.

The arrest of Mugumya and Mukwaya brings to seven, the number of people arrested over fraud in connection with acquisition of unsecured loans by unqualified persons.

Last month, (March 20, 2024) a group of five people including employees of Equity Bank in Uganda were remanded over accusations of money laundering in regard to disbursement of Shs62 billions of unsecured loans to unqualified persons.

The group was arraigned before the Anticorruption Magistrates Court on charges of obtaining credit by false pretence, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

Those on remand include the head of Agency Banking at Equity Bank Julius Musiime, Erina Nabisubi a relationship manager for telecom, Fred Semwogerere (Banker), Tumuhimbise Crescent Tibarwesereka (relationship officer and Wycliff Asiimwe a distribution and marketing consultant with a microfinance facility.

Prosecution alleges that between the year 2021 and 2024 at Equity Bank in Kampala City, Nabisubi being a person employed as a relationship manager in charge of telecom incurred a debt of Shs6.55 billion from Equity bank falsely representing that the loans were being applied for by Najjemba Gladys who she fronted as having fulfilled the bank requirements for accessing the loans whereas not.

The state contends that Nabisubi incurred a debt of Shs300 million from Equity Bank falsely representing that the loans were being applied for by Nagawa Latiffa who she fronted as having fulfilled the bank requirement for accessing the loans whereas not.

It is alleged that between 2021 and 2024 at Equity Bank headquarters situate at Church House in Kampala, Nabisubi intentionally impeded the establishment of the true ownership of Shs6.5 billion which she fraudulently obtained from Equity Bank as loan through account number 1032100370335 in the name of Najjemba Gladys purporting that the said funds were applied for by Najjemba Gladys as a loan whereas not knowing that the said funds were a proceed of crime.

The state further alleges that Musiime intentionally concealed the true ownership of Shs18 million which he received as gratification from Mutuuza Stella for having fraudulently processed a loan of Shs700 million from Equity Bank by requiring her to deposit the said gratification on the account number 1013101211316 in the name of Gilbert Rwaiheru Kiiza knowing that the said deposits were a proceed of crime.

According to the charge sheet, in the year 2021 and 2024 at different places in Kampala and Wakiso districts,  Musiime, Nabisubi, Ssemwogerere, Tumuhimbise and Asiimwe conspired together to defraud Equity Bank of Shs62 billion by fraudulently causing the disbursement of unsecured loans to unqualified people

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