Uganda’s Criminal court summons Agakhan over theft and fraud

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NEWS– Shah Karim Al-Husayn Sha, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, owning Diamond Trust Bank Group has been summoned by the Criminal Court in Uganda to answer Charges of theft and electronic fraud.

Karim is also wanted to answer charges related to making false enteries in financial ledgers, computer misuse, uttering false documents and conspiracy to commit felony.

He is summoned alongside his staff Nassim Mohamed Devji, the Group C.E.O & M.D DTB AFRICA, VARGHESE THAMBI, C.E.O DTB Uganda and JOHN SITAKANGE and the Head Of Credit DTB Uganda.

This is the second time Diamond Trust Bank Top Management is being Summoned, in May 2021, the M.D was summoned by the Financial Intelligence for Money Laundering Related investigations. This arises from the illegal and dubious debit transactions from Tycoon Hamis Kiggundu and Ham Enterprises U Ltd’s bank accounts over a spread period of 10 years.

The four are on 28th September 2021 required to appear before Buganda Road Magistrate’s court to take plea on charges of theft contrary to section 254 of the Penal Code Act Cap 120, making false entries in financial ledgers contrary to section 47 (1) and (3) of the financial Institutions Act of 2004.    

AGA KHAN’S Court Summon issued by the MagistrateThey are also accused of electronic fraud contrary to section 19 of the computer misuse Act, uttering false documents contrary to section 351 of the Penal Code Act 120 and conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to section 360 of Penal Code Act 120. According to Mr.Kiggundu’s affidavit, the top bank managers superintendent illegal and unlawful transactions of Shs 34,295,951,553 and $23,467,670 from his bank accounts.

“The above persons who are the directing mind of the bank had knowledge of illegal transactions and they bear criminal liability for the approval and concurrence in committing the deception and fraud on the complainant’s accounts,” reads in part of the affidavit.

Ham Enterprises founder Mr.Kiggundu in his affidavit swore that the four do not meet the criteria and they are not fit and proper persons to own, control and manage a bank or any other financial institutions in accordance with the 3rd schedule of the Financial Institutions Act, 2004. 

In March last year, Ham dragged both banks to court for dubiously debiting over Shs 120 billion from his accounts without his consent. The Bank acknowledged not having an operational license permitting to operate in Uganda as required by law on Court records and in a landmark Judgement of 7th October 2021 The High Court convicted Diamond Trust Bank Uganda and Kenya for Violating the Financial Institutions Acts of Both Uganda and Kenya and also Violating the Banking regulations among other illegalities committed. 

The High Court ordered DTB to immediately pay the bank the over Ugx. 120Billion that it had illegally debited with an annual interest rate of 8% which is the implementing authority under the Financial Authorities Act 2 of 2004 As Amended to take such necessary actions and measures to ensure that the provisions of the law is implemented in accordance with the intention of the law such as to protect the Ugandan economy from illegal hemorrhages and uncontrolled flows of financial resources.

This is also to ensure that financial institutional business in Uganda is operated within the letter of the law to protect the nascent banking business industry in Uganda. 

Diamond Trust Bank appealed and on 5th May 2021, the appellant judges left the bank with an illegality burden which has since escalated into theft and fraud charges. We shall keep you updated, Watch the Space.