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Pension ghosts: Police freeze accounts

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By Dear Jeanne

Posted  Wednesday, November 14   2012 at  02:00
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Kampala

Police have frozen accounts and placed caveats on properties of officials under investigation into the Shs169 billion pension scam.

The property and accounts targeted are said to belong to Mr Christopher Obey, the interdicted Principal Accountant – Pension, and his juniors; Mr David Oloka and Mr Steven Lwanga in the Public Service Ministry, and Mr Isaac Sentongo of Cairo International Bank.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said in a statement yesterday that Continental Financial International Limited, Ugafin, Leads Insurance Company Limited, Kagera Rice and Kagera Gaming, and Swift Commercial Establishment were affected.

“We would like to warn the general public that whoever deals with these companies will be doing so at his or her own risk. All bank accounts of the suspects and their properties are under investigations. We [also] would like to warn the general public not to transact any business with them under this period of investigations,” Ms Nabakooba said.

Lawyer held
Detectives yesterday searched the properties of the said companies and Mr Obey and Mr Oloka’s lawyer’s premises, ON Osinde and Co. Advocate. Police confiscated documents at the law firm and also arrested and detained Mr Nathan Osinde.

Mr Osinde declined to make a statement with the detectives at the Special Investigations Unit headquarters in regard to his clients, saying it was against professional ethics.

On the issue of the frozen accounts and caveated property, Mr Osinde told the Daily Monitor that he had not yet been served with a court order effecting the freezing and caveating of the property. “Police have the power to freeze accounts and place caveats on properties, but through proper procedures ...,” Mr Osinde said.

Police have so far re-arrested six of the 17 suspects in the pension scam, who include Mr Obey, Mr Oloka, Mr Peter Ssajabi, Mr Isaac Ssentongo, Mr Lwanga, Mr Francis Lubega, the head of IT in the Ministry, all under charges of illicit accumulation of wealth.

According to the Criminal Intelligence and investigations Directorate (CIID), the six were last week re-arrested after it was established that they were in the process of withdrawing money from their known accounts and selling off their properties.

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