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Global Wire Industries director charged over sh2.2b fraud

By Michael Odeng

Added 20th January 2020 08:09 PM

The state prosecutor, James Khaukha informed court that investigations are still on going and requested the accused to be remanded to Luzira Prisons.

 Global Wire Industries director charged over sh2.2b fraud

The state prosecutor, James Khaukha informed court that investigations are still on going and requested the accused to be remanded to Luzira Prisons.

Sabharwal (right), the director of Global Wire Industries Uganda Limited listening to his lawyer

Rajiv Kumar Sabharwal, the director of Global Wire Industries Uganda Limited has been charged with 53 counts relating to a sh2.2 billion fraud at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala.

Prosecution alleges that Sabharwal, 56, between April 2017 and April 2019 at Diamond Trust Bank Limited forged documents, purportedly signed by Kumar Rajendra, the co-director and stole sh2.2 billion from the company.

Senior Superintendent of Police Benard Sisye Kiirya preferred to the accused charges of embezzlement, forgery, uttering a false document and the Directorate of Public Prosecution consented to them on December 19, 2019.

Sabharwal, a resident of Bugolobi flats, Nakawa division, Kampala is battling the charges under section 19, 342, 347 and 351 of the Anti-Corruption and Penal Code Act, respectively.

On conviction, the offence of embezzlement attracts a maximum sentence of 14-years imprisonment, while forgery and uttering a false document elicits a three-year jail term.

Dressed in a pair of blue jeans and stripped white shirt, Sabharwal appeared before Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu and denied all the charges, saying they are false.

The accused, who appeared crestfallen, interjected as the magistrate was reading the charges to him and said, "Let me say something. All those counts are false". However, the magistrate said it is a court procedure for her to read all the charges and he replies to it.

The state prosecutor, James Khaukha informed court that investigations are still on going and requested the accused to be remanded to Luzira Prisons.

At this moment, lawyers Joel Aijuka and Allan Bariyo applied for the accused bail, saying he has no criminal record and owns a multibillion business, which he does not want to be crippled in his absence.

Aijuka submitted that the charges preferred against the accused were concocted because he is a business rival to complainant Rajendra.

The lawyer argued that the accused has a fixed place of abode and substantial sureties, who have been informed of their duties. The sureties are Brian Kasihrwe, 30, and Moses Philip Wandera, all business associates of the accused dealing in hardware.

The magistrate released the accused on a cash bail of sh20m while his sureties were directed to execute a non-cash bond of sh600m.

The magistrate directed the accused to deposit in court his passport and land tittle before he is released. "If you do not possess a land title, one of the sureties should deposit the same".

"The accused have a fixed place of abode and the sureties have pledged to return the suspect in court. I therefore allow the bail application of the suspect," she ordered.

Allegations

Prosecution alleges that the accused between April 2017 and April 2019 at Diamond Trust Bank Limited in Kampala district, stole the money, belonging to Global Wire Industries Uganda Limited to which he had access by virtue of his office.

The accused reportedly withdrew the money from the account of Global Wire Industries, Uganda Limited.

It is purported that the accused on March 2, 2019 at Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in Kampala with intent to defraud forged a resolution, purporting the same to have been signed by Rajendra, authorising him (Sabharwal) to sign all Diamond Trust Bank cheques whereas not. 

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