What you need to know:
- The suspect was found in possession of several suspected forged government letters.
Police in Uganda are holding a Chinese national over “allegedly attempting to defraud Uganda Airlines by masquerading” as the national carrier's agent in the Chinese capital, Beijing.
"The gentleman whose names are withheld had in their possession- fake letters of authorization purportedly from Uganda Airlines allowing his company called Beijing Gendui Gengdui International travel Agency Co. Ltd to carry out business on behalf of the airline as it's official sales agent in China" the Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police spokesperson Mr Luke Owoyesigire said of the individual currently detained at Entebbe main police station.
On Wednesday, Mr Owoyesigire said the suspect was found in possession of several suspected forged government letters including one from foreign affairs minister Gen Jeje Odong.
"We arrested him after we got a complaint from the Airline, our personnel traced him in Entebbe. We are going to investigate after which we shall take him to courts of law where he will be charged with forgery and fraud," he said.
Alleged fake documents
When contacted the Uganda Airlines Public Relations Manager Ms Shakira Rahim said the national carrier raised alarm after officials from China called to confirm whether the suspect was doing business on their behalf.
"When they sent us the letter he gave them, it showed we had authorized him to carry out business on our behalf which isn't true," she disclosed.
Ms Shakira said the suspect obtained an introduction letter after he heard that the airline was set to directly charter business to Beijing.
"He expressed interest, saying he could run different services for the airlines but we have not concretized anything since we are yet to even start the process of getting an official agent in China. He [instead] changed the introduction letter to an authorization [one],” she observed.
In documents dated October 28 and seen by this publication, a copy of the original introduction letter states that “Uganda Airlines commenced negotiations with M/S Sunmaker Energy (Uganda) Limited with regard to the possible execution of a charter agreement allowing the latter to arrange direct charter flights between Uganda and China through Beijing Gendui International Travel Services Company Ltd whose General manager is a one Ms Fang Yue.”
The documents further state: “Beijing Gendui Gendui International Travel Services Co. Ltd will be amongst the agents for Uganda Airlines in China if and when a charter agreement is executed in accordance with the terms and details contained in any such final executed and officially sanctioned charter agreement, as stipulated under the laws of Uganda.”
Furthermore, the allegedly forged authorization states that Beijing Gendui Gendui International Travel Services Co. Ltd will be fully mandated as the aviation service provider from Entebbe to Xi'an or Beijing route in China.
“Beijing Gendui Gendui International Travel Services Co. Ltd became the designated agency of Uganda airlines in China applying for all jobs in 129 of Entebbe- Beijing traffic route and 287 of time schedule for Uganda airlines,” the documents read.
The said authorization letter states the contract between the two parties will be valid until October 2022 with a possibility of renewal for related agreement on Airbus A330- 800 NEO.
"Working contents include, but are not limited to Chinese office applications, business permits, CCAR-129 applications, navigation rights, moment and air route applications," it reads in part.