By Edward Anyoli
The chief finance officer of Three Ways Shipping Company has been charged with embezzling $3.8m (about sh10b), belonging to telecom company MTN.
Waiswa Kafuko was charged with three counts of embezzlement, theft and conspiracy to commit fraud before the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Sarah Langa.
Kafuko denied the charges and was released on a cash bail of sh10m. His three sureties Nelson Kyasira, David Lyagoba and Edrisa Matovu were bound at sh2b not cash.
The Court also issued summons for his colleague, Faridah Senkumba, a logistics officer, to report to court and answer the same charges.
Three Ways Shipping Group has been a clearing agent for MTN since 2004. They recently fell out over the alleged theft.
Prosecution said the accused and others still at large stole $3.8m from MTN between 2009 and August 2012.
MTN reported the case to the Police, but later entered an agreement with Three Ways Shipping Group to paying back the monies. Three Ways was also to provide evidence against the MTN staff charged with the embezzlement.
Three Ways is said to have reneged on the agreement, prompting MTN to drag them to court. The court threw out the case, saying the agreement between MTN and Three Ways was illegal. The court said hearing the case would mean it was validating an illegality.
MTN then filed a fresh case against Three Ways. According to prosecution, Police investigations established that Three Ways Shipping Group Ltd. Presented 125 fraudulent invoices to MTN on which the payments were made.
Three Ways’ director Oscar Baitwa, former MTN accountant John Paul Basabose and senior customs and logistics officer Naphatali Were were charged over the same offence last year.
The case was adjourned to September 2.
Shipping firm chief accountant charged in MTN $3.8m fraud