Tropical Bank staff blame top managers over Shs1b fraud

City lawyer Musa Lukungu in the dock at the ant-corruption court in Kampala recently. Photo | Benson Tumusiime

What you need to know:

  • Appearing before the Anti-Corruption Court on Tuesday, the group told the presiding Grade One Magistrate, Ms Joan Aciro, that the top managers of the bank are privy to the alleged fraud and yet they are at large.

Seven former employees of Tropical bank who are accused of masterminding the theft of Shs1b from a customer’s account have blamed the scam on top managers of the institution.

The seven employees include Mr Michael Kaggwa (sales officer), Mr Brian Anguni (customs service officer), Ms Aisha Nakyanzi Katongole (senior compliance officer), Ms Imran Sadiq Hussein (bank relations officer), Ms Sarah Baiga Kakyamya (branch operations supervisor), Mr Abdu Nabonyene (operations branch manager) and Ms Janer Zainab Ntaro (chief teller).
Also jointly charged with the aforementioned staff is lawyer Musa Lukungu.

Appearing before the Anti-Corruption Court on Tuesday, the group told the presiding Grade One Magistrate, Ms Joan Aciro, that the top managers of the bank are privy to the alleged fraud and yet they are at large.
The group decried selective prosecution by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

To that effect, they demanded that court orders the office of the DPP to avail them with the documents from the bank’s head in charge of legal affairs and compliance department for purposes of defending themselves against the fraud charges.
Prosecution case states that Mr Lukungu conspired with the bank officials In November 2021 at Tropical bank offices in Kampala to defraud the financial institution of Shs1b, which was irregularly paid to Ms Margaret Nabona, and the administrator of the estate of bank customer, Abdurrezagh Elmrabet, whereas not.

During the session, State attorney David Mugamba listed 14 exhibits which they intend to rely on during the trial of the accused. They include letters of administration, newspaper advert, death certificate issued by National Identification, among others which were used to declare the account owner dead.

Background 

According to a November 19, 2021 Memorandum of Understanding between Mr Lukungu and the bank, it is indicated that the fraud scheme was allegedly orchestrated by Mr Sowedi Toto and Ms Margaret Nabona by declaring the owner of the bank account dead whereas not. In order to obtain the money, the duo reportedly obtained letters of administration to Abdurrezagh Elmrabet’s estate and presented the same to the bank to access his account numbers. 

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