CIID Boss Akullo Sued For Withholding UGX406m from suspect Top story

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In short
In her written defense before the High Court, the police boss admits seizing the money in question on grounds that it arose out of a suspicious transaction and that as police, they are withholding it to establish its true source and purpose.

The Director of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department of Police (CIID) Grace Akullo, has admitted withholding over Shillings 406 million that she seized from a one Daniel Serwadda, last year on suspicion that he was involved in money laundering.

In her written defense before the High Court, the police boss admits seizing the money in question on grounds that it arose out of a suspicious transaction.

She says as police, they are still withholding it to establish its source and purpose.

Through his lawyers of Mulindwa & Athiang Advocates, Serwadda sued Akullo and wants the High Court to issue an order directing Akullo and BOU to jointly and severally release his money.

He also wants court to direct Akullo to pay him damages that he has suffered in having his money held for this long.

According to Akullo, the investigations process has been hampered by sluggishness of Interpol Madrid, where the suspicious money originated from and Interpol UK.

Bank of Uganda (BOU), where the money in question is being held, says that it is simply performing its custodial role as an agency of government.

Through one of its officials Margaret Kasule, Bank of Uganda states that it will only release the money in question if there is a lawful court order.

The case was reported in May 2014, by the Kenya Commercial Bank, when Serwadda received the said money in his bank account held at its Oasis Mall branch, in Kampala.

The bank said it found it suspicious on grounds that the same account had never received or held such hefty amount of money before and that Serwadda's profile could not match the amount received in his account.

The suspect claimed the money in question had been sent by his brother-in-law based in Madrid, Spain for the purpose of buying a house in Wakiso District.

However, before the investigations could be completed, the suspect went to the bank to withdraw the money in question but detectives from CIID swung into action and intercepted him before he could leave the banking hall.

Serwadda successfully challenged the move by police to seize his money at Buganda Road Court. The court ordered for unconditional release of the money to the suspect.

But the police refused to release the money and instead appealed the decision of the Buganda Road Court before Justice Albert Rugadya Atwooki, who ruled that the police ‘may' and ‘should' hold the money until investigations are completed.

Court is yet to set a date to hear this case.