According to the sanction letter, the suspects are being charged with abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to commit a felony, embezzlement, and kidnap. The charges are in relation to the ploy to kidnap and defraud two South Korean nationals of 1.4 billion Shillings.
The two South Koreans, Park Seunghoon and Jang Shingu Un were reportedly looking for gold amounting to USD 1.5 million. But, they were arrested from Acacia Mall in Kampala; where they were due to meet their lawyer Paul Wanyoto.
Reports indicate 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.
It later turned out that the deployment had been sanctioned by Siraj Bakaleke after a tipoff from the lawyer who indicated that two of his clients were involved in dubious activities and he had a suspicion that they were financial terrorists.
The South Koreans in their statements to police also pinned Wanyoto as the only person who was aware of the money they had in their possession and that they intended to buy gold using the money. Park Seunghoon says they were arrested, taken to Katwe Police Station where they spent two days and were told that they were facing terrorism charges and would as be deported.
Police officers reportedly bought two air tickets with Emirates air using some of the extorted money. But they missed the flight, creating confusion among the plotters of the deportation. They hurriedly bought new tickets with Rwanda Air but were netted before the South Koreans boarded the plane.
Four Police officers, who had escorted the duo, were arrested on site and detained at Nalufenya for weeks before they were released on Police bond. They include; Isaac Munezero, the Officer in charge of Crime Intelligence at Katwe police station, George Kayongo, Kenneth Zirintuusa and Patrick Ochen.
Their file which spent more than three months rotating between Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) Headquarters Kibuli and DPPs office was sanctioned for the prosecution last week after detectives produced evidence linking the suspects to the fraud.
Jane Kajuga, the spokesperson at the office of the DPP has confirmed the sanctioning of the cases. “It is true, the file has been sanctioned with charges of abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud among many others,” Kajuga told URN.
While the file is ready to proceed to court, police have not yet arrested Bakaleke or the other suspects.
A source privy to the ongoing investigations says, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) is investigating a case against Bakaleke and thus police will wait until they are done with him to take him to court.
“The file is ready for court but Bakaleke is still being investigated by CMI and once we take him to court we may affect those investigations,” the source who preferred anonymity said. It’s not clear whether CMI is investigating this same case or a different case.
At the time when Bakaleke was implicated in the alleged fraud, he was the Regional Police Commander (RPC) Kampala Metropolitan South.