What you need to know:
- He was remanded until November 6, 2023 when he’s expected to return to court after his three lawyers’ attempts to secure bail failed.
- Court documents further indicate that Mr Kim was contacted by Mugisha who knew the alleged gold seller to whom he got in touch with after being picked from the airport by the alleged son and interpreter of the seller.
Kampala District Land Board chairperson, David Balondemu has been remanded to Luzira prison on charges of obtaining money from a Korean investor by false pretence.
Balondemu, 52, was on Friday arraigned before City Hall Chief Magistrate’s Court presided over by Mr Edgar Karakire following his arrest by officials from State House Anti-Corruption Unit and police.
The state claims Balondemu and others defrauded Mr Hyun Uk Kim $600,000 (about Shs2.2 billion) in a 53kg gold scam.
He was remanded until November 6, 2023 when he’s expected to return to court after his three lawyers’ attempts to secure bail failed.
“Both parties have presented lengthy submissions. I need to study them and make a ruling,” Mr Karakire said before remanding Mr Balondemu.
He was arrested on Tuesday following a complaint by Kim to the president that he had lost lots of money to Kampala kinked dealers.
Prosecution led by Ms Mercy Yamangusho Khaidarah asked the court to issue a warrant of arrest against one Geofrey Eric Mkwe, also a lawyer to appear in court over similar charges.
Balondemu’s court arraignment comes days after two of his co-accused--- James Jeff Mugisha and Godfrey Maviri, both self-employed---were on October 4, 2023 remanded to prison over the offence allegedly committed in 2021.
They were remanded until November 25, 2023.
According to the charge sheet, Balondemu, Mkwe, Mugisha, Maviri and others still at large between the months of March and November 2021 at the offices of M/S Balondemu &CO Advocates along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala City conspired and obtained $600,000 from Kim claiming to be selling him gold whereas not.
Court documents further indicate that Mr Kim was contacted by Mugisha who knew the alleged gold seller to whom he got in touch with after being picked from the airport by the alleged son and interpreter of the seller.
According to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit officials, the accused met at Imperial Residence Apartment where Mr Kim was showed gold nuggets and later taken to M/S NSB advocates and legal consultants.
“That a Memorandum of Understanding was signed for the complainant (Mr Kim) to pay a deposit of $208,000 (about Shs700 million).
He was advised to bring cash which he handed over to the law firm. However, instead of the gold being transported by land as asked by the complainant, he was told to pay $62,000 (over Shs200m) for Cargo Flight Insurance.
Court documents further state that during all these transactions at the law firm, Maviri was in the company of the gold seller and upon a search at his home, six kilogrammes of suspected gold nuggets were recovered.