A new scandal is raging in Crane Bank after its own staff stole Shs 846m from the bank’s customers.
Of this, Shs 800m was withdrawn from the account of H.E Sam Kutesa, the President of United Nations General Assembly and Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister and the Shs 46m from other customers in Kabale district.
According to the latest information, Kutesa, being a high profile person, usually calls the bank to get his money other than lining up to withdraw.
In this case, he used to call Edwin Tashobya who worked as a clearing person at the bank’s Kampala headquarters.
Tashobya would then contact the Forex Manager to clear the transaction.
Over the years, it became normal for Tashobya to release money without clearing with the Bank Manager as Kutesa never complained.
It later emerged that Tashobya continued to withdraw money using a recording in which Kutesa had once called the bank to order a transaction.
We contacted Sudhir Ruparelia, the Managing Director of Crane bank and this is what he said: “It is not true anyone lost money. I don’t talk on phone to people I don’t know. Come to my office”.
Later, his daughter said: “As a matter of policy, the bank cannot discuss details of a customer. If you want any help, write to me, I will see if can help you”.
Kutesa’s aide, Joseph Barigye, speaking from New York in the US said the bank was “sorting the mess”.
Meanwhile, the bank has tasked the Forex Manager to compensate the loss.
Another Crane bank staff defrauds customers of Shs46m in Kabale
In Kabale, police has started investigations in the loss of Shs 46m by Crane Bank customers.
A Crane Bank worker, a one Edwin Akampumuza, allegedly tampered with the customers’ accounts where he picked the said money.
Akampumuza had created a parallel system of payment mostly on the fixed deposit accounts.
Customers would come to fix their money from other accounts or fix dollars only.
Akampumuza would make customers fill the withdrawal forms and issue non-existent accounts.
Whenever a customer came for the money, Akampumuza would pay him/her using the money acquired from new customers.
In the fraud, Kabale nuns who had fixed dollars worth Shs 29m, lost it all.
The fraud was discovered and staff arrested by police.
It was then discovered that Akampumuza spent all the Shs 46m on sports betting.
The bank has been forced to compensate all the victims.
The insurance company owned by Sudhir paid 60%, while Crane bank paid 40%.