CRIME: A renowned embattled city lawyer Paul Mugoya Wanyoto and businessman Zabassajja Ndyanabanji have been remanded by Buganda road chief magistrate’s court over defrauding over 700m from a foreigner in a fake gold deal.
Mr. Wanyoto who also doubles as a cabinet minister of “Inzu ya Bamasaba” is accused of obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to defraud Yahya Mohammed Osman, a South Sudan national.
In a session presided over by magistrate Esther Nahirya the duo applied for bail each presenting two sureties.
However, Ms Nahirya adjourned the matter to February 21, for a ruling on the accused persons bail application.
Prosecution contends that the duo and others still at large on September 29,2016 at web advocates and solicitors belonging to Wanyoto along Lumumba Avenue in Kampala, with intent to defraud obtained a sum of $54,000 (over 200m) from Osman purporting to be clearing 256 kilograms of gold from Entebbe Airport Uganda to Dubai – United Arab Emirates (UAE)
It is alleged that on September 28 2016, at Nike Refinery in Buziga a city suburb, with intent to defraud they obtained the sum of $13,250 (about 49m) from Osman purporting to smelting and refining 265 Kilograms of gold for Osman.
On the account of conspiracy, it stated that between September and December, 2016 in diverse places in Kampala, the duo and other jointly conspired to defraud Mr Osman of AFWAF General trading company Limited, a Dubai based firm of $93250 (300m).
They again obtained $30,000 (100m) from Mr Osman purporting to be clearing gold from Entebbe airport to Dubai while at Wanyoto’s office at Web advocates and solicitors on Lumumba Avenue
Not new in fraud game.
Around February 2018, Wanyoto was implicated in the alleged extortion of 1.4 billion Shillings from two South Korean Nationals together with former Kampala Metropolitan South Regional Police Commander Siraj Bakaleke and four other police officers.
The two South Koreans, Park Seunghoon and Jang Shingu Un were looking for gold amounting to USD 1.5 million. However, they were arrested from Acacia Mall in Kampala; where they were due to meet their lawyer Paul Wanyoto.
Reports indicated that on the day of the meeting, the dealers were surrounded by security operatives, put on gunpoint and asked to hand over the money in their possession. A total of 1.4 billion Shillings was handed over to the police officers before the two South Koreans were arrested and detained at Katwe Police Station.
The Koreans were later detained at Katwe police station. However, there is no record of their detention on file. A source who preferred anonymity says they were kept in the office of the officer-in-charge of the station for the two days.
It was reported that police officers then bought two air tickets with Emirates and planned to repatriate the two dealers to South Korea using some of the extorted money. But they missed the flight, creating confusion among the plotters of the deportation.
The police officers reportedly bought other tickets with Rwanda Air but were netted before the arrested South Koreans boarded the plane.
Bakaleka has since disappeared making prosecution impossible to proceed with the case.