Former Regional Cooperation Minister Isaac Musumba and Igara East legislator Michael Mawanda Maranga have been arrested in India for alleged extortion.
The two were arrested on Friday in Mumbai together with another Ugandan businessman identified as Yakuba Mathai, according to the Mumbai Mirror online.
The trio allegedly tried to extort 20 million US dollars from four directors of electronics company, Videocon.
The Mumbai Mirror describes Musumba as a lawyer and Ugandan Member of Parliament aged 52. Mawanda on the other had is described as a former law minister of Uganda and currently serving as MP, while details about Yakuba Mathai show that he is a 35 year old businessman who runs a mining company.
According to the Indian police, the three visited the corporate office of Videocon Industries on Thursday afternoon and claimed they had an international arrest warrant for the arrest of the company’s senior staff. Mumbai Mirror quotes a senior police officer as saying they met officials at the corporate office and said that they had come from Uganda to arrest four directors of the company against whom Interpol had issued an international warrant.
They claimed that Videocon had invested in a mining business in Uganda in 2009, but the four directors suddenly wrapped up the business within six months, signed a memorandum of understanding with the partner and left the country, duping several investors.
The officer added that Musumba and his team told the office staff at Videocon to inform the four directors about their visit and get in touch with them at the Trident Hotel, where they were staying.
A legal team from Videocon met them at the hotel. When they asked about the purpose of their visit, the Ugandans told them they would settle the matter if the four directors paid them 20 million dollars, or else they would be arrested. The legal team informed their office of the trio’s demands, upon which Marven Fernandes, one of the directors, approached the police and registered a case against them.
According to Mumbai Mirror, the Mumbai police registered a case of extortion, fraudulent removal or concealment of property, and common intention against the trio.
Ravindra Shisve, a deputy commissioner of police is quoted as saying investigations are on and the police are also checking if the accused have diplomatic immunity.
MP Mawanda and Musumba are said to have been holding diplomatic passports, but during interrogation they reportedly revealed that they had gone to India not on diplomatic terms but in their personal capacities. Musumba said he had come to provide legal advice to Mathai.
Minister Okello Oryem says he has instructed the Ugandan embassy in India to help Hon Isaac Musumba and Hon Micheal Mawanda who have been arrested for trying to extorting 20 million dollars from an Indian company.
Musumba is the Ugandan candidate for the position of Sec Gen in OIC and currently chairman of the Uganda Registration Service Bureau. Mwanda is the Igara East Mp.