Uganda: 6 Tycoons Probed Over $67m Crane Bank Loans

Can Uganda Step Up to New Economic Challenges?

Kampala — Crane Bank suspiciously advanced more than Shs244b in separate loan amounts to companies owned by six tycoons, a preliminary forensic audit report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows.

The report, code-named Project Nyonyi, names the six individuals as Ms Amina Hersi Moghe , John Bosco Muwonge (Boost), and one of Kampala’s largest land owners, Mr Ali Mohammed and Mr Yoosuf Mohamed, close associates of Sudhir Ruparelia and Mr Leonard Bob Kanaabi and Mr Innocent Mutabaruka. Ms Moghe owns Oasis Mall and the upmarket apartments, Laburnam Courts in Kampala, and she is setting up a sugar plantation in northern Uganda.

The report says Mr Kanaabi, who is a listed shareholder in Logic Real Estates and Developers Limited that was advanced huge sums of money in loans, is an employee of Mr Ephraim Ntaganda, a business associate of Mr Ruparelia.

The six are some of the 22 top borrowers that as of October 31, 2016 held more than Shs500.3b in Crane Bank loans, making up 45 per cent of the bank’s outstanding credit facilities.

Largest debtor

Ms Moghe is listed as the largest debtor, holding more than Shs111b in unpaid loans that were continuously advanced even when, the report says, Crane Bank had clear indication the she could not repay them.

The report observed that the loans advanced to Ms Moghe pointed to a number of possible irregularities, such as forming companies and documents generated for the sole purpose of obtaining loans and concealing the real identity of the beneficiary of the funds.

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