KAMPALA. Andreas Sebastian, the 41-year-old Swede found dead in a Sheraton Hotel room in Kampala, was due to meet President Museveni, his father has told Swedish press.
Sebastian arrived in the country and checked in at the hotel in the wee hours of February 5. He was, however, found dead at midday. Sebastian’s body was found after his wife alerted hotel staff that he was unusually not answering her repeated telephone calls. Subsequently, the hotel managers forced their way into the room. It’s not clear why Sebastian wanted to meet Mr Museveni.
Kampala. Two European men died at two Kampala hotels within two days, February 5 and February 6, 2018, the police has confirmed.
Saturday Monitor could not immediately establish the circumstances under which they died.
Police investigations are ongoing but the two incidents are believed not to be related.
“We received two bodies, one of Finnish national and another of a Swedish national. One was brought from the Sheraton and another was brought from Pearl of Africa Hotel,” Dr Moses Byaruhanga, the police surgeon, told this newspaper.
Dr Byaruhanga added: “One of the bodies was brought on February 5 and the other on February 6. Postmortem was done on February 7 on both bodies but we could not immediately establish the cause of death. We took samples from both bodies for analysis.”
Tersvouri Toomajuha Petteri, a national of Finland aged 42, died at the recently launched Pearl of Africa Hotel on February 5, the police said.
Again according to the police, Alex Sebastian, 41, a national of Sweden, died from in room at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala on February 6.
Mr Mohammed Hamid, the proprietor of Pearl of Africa Hotel, told this newspaper that he had no information on whether someone had died at the hotel since he does not run it. We were unable to reach a spokesperson at the Sheraton for a comment.
However, the Senior Presidential Press Secretary, Mr Don Wanyama, said Sebastian was not scheduled to meet the president.
“Usually for such foreign guests to meet the president, they need two to three days to be in the country, but he (Sebastian) was not on the President’s guest list.”
The Swedish Embassy in Kampala has been largely quiet about Sebastian’s death.
Mr Per Lindgarde, the Swedish ambassador to Uganda, declined to comment on the matter, pending outcome of the ongoing police investigation.
An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sweden too declined to speak on Sabastian’s demise, citing confidentiality reasons.
The body of the deceased was found in room 1231 of Kampala Sheraton Hotel.
Sebastian died of heart failure, a section of Swedish media reported, quoting the father who said he had been briefed so by police in Uganda.
The head of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Col Frank Bagyenda Kaka, has dismissed as “trash” allegations that one of the two European men who died in two Kampala hotels last week had come to Uganda on his invitation.
This newspaper reported yesterday that the two men died on February 5 and February 6 in Sheraton and Pearl of Africa hotels, that are about a kilometre apart.
The deceased are Tersvouri Toomajuha Petteri, 42, a Finland national, who died at Pearl of Africa Hotel on February 5, and Alex Sebastian, 41, a Sweden national, who died in his room at Sheraton Hotel on February 6.
Dr Moses Byaruhanga, the police surgeon, on Friday said postmortems could not immediately establish the causes of the deaths. He said they took samples from the bodies for further investigation.
Sources have told Sunday Monitor that when Petteri and a colleague arrived at the airport, they told security personnel that they were coming to Uganda to visit Col Bagyenda, which prompted one of the ISO operatives at the airport to call Col Bagyenda about his ‘visitors’.
Col Bagyenda, the sources say, told the caller that he was not expecting any visitors from abroad, prompting security at the airport to detain and question the visitors.
As the questioning proceeded, the sources say, a one Apollo Kyabagye and two women identified as Faridah Nakaye and Carol Alinda and a policeman arrived at the airport to pick up the guests. On realising that the persons they had gone to pick up were undergoing questioning, sources say, the group escaped and only Alinda was arrested.
The guests, the sources add, were driven to Kampala for further questioning and Petteri proceeded to Pearl of Africa Hotel where he had been booked with his colleague, Suvi Linden, a politician in Finland, proceeding to another unnamed hotel.
Asked whether he had invited the deceased as alleged, Col Kaka said: “That is trash. For now I cannot give you details because we are still investigating. We don’t do work through the media. It is unprofessional; it interferes with the investigations.”
Intelligence sources suspect that Petteri could have been a victim of conmen, a line Col Bagyenda confirmed is of interest to ISO. He said the investigations are being jointly conducted by ISO and the police.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Frank Mwesigwa said the people who gave Petteri a “forged” invitation were working with ISO operatives.
Police sources say the so-called ISO operatives who invited Petteri are the ones who referred him to Pearl of Africa Hotel for residence.
Petteri and his colleague allegedly presented an invitation letter at the airport indicating that Col Bagyenda had invited him to the country. Police sources say that Petteri owned a security company in Finland and perhaps intended to engage in similar business in Uganda, hence the need to engage with people charged with security.
“We are not taking these murders lightly because they involve foreigners and this might affect tourism and investment in the country,” Col Bagyenda said.
Information regarding the death of Sebastian at Sheraton Hotel is still very scanty. Available information indicates that Sebastian, who was holding Swedish passport No 91056284, arrived in the country on February 5 and was booked into his room at 3am. He was discovered dead that morning after his wife’s calls went unanswered and she alerted the hotel management who checked his room.
Swedish Ambassador Per Lindgarde said he was aware of the death of the Swedish national but that he had no details regarding the death.
"It is a strange coincidence that two Scandinavians are found dead by a day's space. We've got a death certificate on my son, and he died because [his] heart gave up. There is no sign of any crimes behind [the death]," Swedish TV quoted the father without naming him.
Uganda Police Force Medical Director, Dr Moses Byaruhanga, who examined Sebastian’s body, told this reporter that they were yet to establish the cause of his sudden death.
“We have extracted samples that can be used to get a toxicology analysis to determine the cause of death,” he said.
Detectives reported in preliminary reports that Sebastian and Tuomas Teräsvuori Petteri, a Finnish national found dead in a Pearl of Africa Hotel, had likely both had drug overdose. They died a day apart.
Mr Frank Mwesigwa, the Kampala Metropolitan police commander, blamed the death of Petteri on persons associated with some Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Uganda’s domestic spy agency.
In Finland, media reports indicate that Petteri was in Uganda to market some security products.
Patria Land business unit, according to the reports, had authorised Petteri to market weapons made by Patria Weapons Systems Oy in Finland. He was reportedly set to meet Uganda’s Defence ministry officials.
Patria communications head Birgitta Selonen said that it is not unusual for the company to use external parties to sell its products without written agreements. However, she said that consultants can voluntarily decide to market the firm’s products.
Finland’s Foreign Ministry’s Arms Control unit said that it is not currently reviewing any arms deals with Uganda.
The bodies of Petteri and Sebastian have been flown out of Uganda to their respective country.