Four Equity Bank staff remanded over Shs62b fraud

The accused (Left to Right:) Julius Musiime, Erina Nabisubi, Fred Semwogerere, Wycliff Asiimwe and Cresent Tumuhimbise in the dock at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala on March 20, 2024. PHOTO / ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The five suspects were Wednesday arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Magistrates Court presided over by Abert Asiimwe who read to them charges ranging from obtaining credit by false pretence, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

Five people, among them four employees of Equity Bank in Uganda, have been remanded to Luzira prison on accusations of money laundering regarding the disbursement of Shs62 billion worth of unsecured loans to unqualified persons.

The five suspects were yesterday arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Magistrate’s Court on charges of obtaining credit by false pretense, money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud.
They include the head of Agency Banking at Equity Bank, Mr Julius Musiime; Ms Erina Nabisubi, a relationship manager; Mr Fred Semwogerere (banker), Mr Crescent Tumuhimbise Tibarwesereka (relationship officer) and Wycliff Asiimwe, a distribution and marketing consultant with a microfinance company.

The suspects appeared before Grade One Magistrate Abert Asiimwe for plea-taking.
However, the magistrate said the court did not have the powers to hear the pleas because the charge sheet involved a capital offence only tried by the High Court.
“You are advised not to plead to these charges in the High Court, which has the jurisdiction to hear the case of money laundering,” he said.

The prosecution alleges that between 2021 and 2024 at Equity Bank in Kampala City, Ms Nabisubi, employed as a relationship manager-in-charge of telecom, incurred a debt of Shs6.55 billion from the financial institution falsely representing that the loan was being applied for by one Gladys Najjemba whom she fronted as having fulfilled the requirements for accessing it whereas not.
The State further contends that Ms Nabisubi incurred a debt of Shs300 million from Equity Bank falsely representing that the loan was being applied for by Latiffa Nagawa whom she fronted as having fulfilled the bank requirement for accessing it whereas not.

It is alleged that between 2021 and 2024 at Equity Bank headquarters situated at Church House in Kampala, Ms Nabisubi intentionally impeded the establishment of the true ownership of the Shs6.5 billion, purporting that the said funds were applied for by Ms Najjemba as a loan, not knowing that the said funds were a proceed of crime.

The State further alleges that Mr Musiime intentionally concealed the true ownership of Shs18 million, which he received as gratification from Stella Mutuuza for having fraudulently processed a loan of Shs700 million from Equity Bank by requiring her to deposit the former on account number 1013101211316 in name of Gilbert Rwaiheru Kiiza knowing that the said deposits were a proceed of crime.

State Attorney Raymond Mugisa said investigations were still ongoing. He asked for another date to enable the state to conclude the inquiries.
The suspects will appear again in court on April 12
Meanwhile, the court directed the prosecution led by Mr Raymond Mugisa to speed up the investigations into the matter and commit the suspects for trial.