Uganda: Army Officials Quizzed Over Gold Scam

Police detectives have interrogated a Uganda People's Defence Forces brigadier and a colonel regarding the gold scam in which two Americans lost about $10m (Shs37b) last year.

Police sources said the Criminal Investigations Directorate sent its detectives to Mbuya Army Barracks, where the two senior military officers recorded statements.

The two senior military officers, one attached to Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, were released without police bond.

The Deputy Director of Internal Security Organisation, Mr Taban Amin, who is named in the same scam , was released on police bond last week.

A source said the two senior army officers were captured by secret cameras that the victims of the gold scam had installed on their garments.

The source said the same officers were mentioned by Mr Taban in his statement as the ones who came with the victims at his home in Kiwatule, Nakawa Division in Kampala City.

The CID spokesman, Mr Charles Twiine, declined to comment on the military officers who were interrogated by police detectives.

"I can't comment about it now because I haven't received a briefing about their interrogation," Mr Twiine said.

Origin

The scam started in 2019 when two US businessmen allegedly bought gold in Cameroon worth $5b and was to be transported to Canada via Nairobi, Kenya.

The gold bars were switched for aluminium bars, but later they were allegedly called by someone who identified himself as Taban Amin, the head of intelligence, and confirmed to be behind the gold swap.

He allegedly gave them a week to travel to Uganda to recover their gold or forfeit it.

In February 2020, the Americans travelled to Uganda and allegedly met Mr Taban, military officers and other civilians that again sucked the victims into another gold scam in which they lost $2m.

The scam led to the arrest of a retired soldier Enoch Katwesigye, a police officer Martin Bwayo and Simon Peter Musangala, a lawyer. The trio has since been charged in court with offences of cheating.

Police seized vehicles, a Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota double cabin pick up that belong to Katwesigye and Bwayo, respectively.

Police widened the investigations and interrogated Mr Amin who allegedly named 11 people, including military officers, a police officer and lawyer, who were to work with the victims to secure their seized gold.

Mr Amin was released on a police bond after three days of interrogation.

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