Wednesday April 23 2014

Pension scam: Cairo Bank officials snub court, summoned


Officials of Cairo International Bank yesterday failed to appear before court to answer charges of conspiring with Ministry of Public Services officials to steal more than Shs165 billion.

Mr Muhammed Tarek, the Bank Managing Director and the bank are facing charges of theft and conspiracy to defraud.

They were expected to appear before the Chief Magistrate at the Anti-Corruption Division for plea.

They are charged jointly with former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service Jimmy Rwamafa and director research and development Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa, among others.

Prosecution alleges that the bank and its managing director conspired with other nine senior officials in the Ministry of Public Service to steal more than Shs165 billion of pensioners’ money by creating 2,605 ghost beneficiaries.

It is alleged that the pension scam transactions were made through Cairo International Bank. The bank was slated to plead through its directors or their agent because it is not a human being. The bank’s lawyer, Mr Macdusman Kabega declined to plead on its (bank’s) behalf, arguing that he needed to consult his client.

The trail Magistrate Sarah Langa had directed the lawyers MacDosman Kabega and Enos Tumusiime to plead on behalf of the bank. Ms Langa adjourned the case to May 6 for mention. She also summoned the bank officials to appear.

The magistrate directed that all the 11 suspects will be charged on the amended charge sheet. Court also set May 30 for hearing of prosecution witnesses.