Embattled Justine Bagyenda kicked out of African Banking body as URA investigates her shs7b tax evasion

Troubled: Justine Bagyenda (Courtesy Photo)
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KAMPALA, Uganda: The rise and fall of former ‘powerful’ Central Bank Executive Director for Supervision, Justine Bagyenda seems eminent.

The Investigator   has established that her woes are just not about to end. At the weekend, the embattled Bagyenda traveled to South Africa where she was required to handover as the chairperson of the African Banking Committee following her sacking.

Following the leakages of her huge deposits worth shs19 billion in various commercial banks across the city, her troubles sunk deeper. Last week, Diamond Trust Bank came out clear to apologize to the entire public and to Bagyenda after a staff, who has since been fired leaked her bank deposits details to the media.

Intelligence reports are rife that several cases are being opened against her. These include investigations by the Financial Intelligence Authority, the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and now, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) that is investigating alleged evasion of taxes worth over shs7b over years (Ref:TID1803072550).

URA got wind of the tax evasions following a recent top tax payers list that surprisingly left her name out yet she has scores of both dollar and UGX account in several commercial banks with over shs19b and property in and around the country estimated in billions of shillings.

According to documents that we obtained, Justine Bagyenda, TIN.1000589799, earned shs380, 528,652.96 each month from 2014 to 2017 (three years). Annually, Bagyenda was earning shs4.56 billion amounting to shs18.2 billion in the three years.

According to URA tax audit team, Bagyenda was supposed to be paying 30% tax on her income at the rate of shs1.369, 903,150.66 (ugx1.4b). This, according to the audit, she faulted, amounting to shs5.4billion plus the estimated interests over the 18months totaling shs1.6billion making it shs7.1billion in accumulated tax.

A whistle blowers report to URA (that we obtained) revealed that Bagyenda also owns a number of properties in several areas throughout the country with majority being rental properties whose rental income has not been declared to the tax authority. As per the URA Act, tax evasion is criminal and can have one serve several years in jail coupled with hefty fines.

These new revelations come on the heels of the recently released Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) model disclosure rules that will see many corrupt officials who stack stolen cash in offshore accounts exposed.

As the reporting and automatic exchange on offshore financial accounts pursuant to CRS becomes a reality in over 100 jurisdictions this year, many taxpayers that hold undeclared financial assets offshore are beginning to come clean.

The IGG revealed to the Investigator that Justine Bagyenda is being probed for illicit amassing of wealth. The probe, according to the omurdusman, follows a whistleblower’s (Dick Kimeze) complaint filed in August 2017 where Kimeze requests that Bagyenda’s accumulated wealth estimated in millions of dollars be probed.

In the complaints, are attached photographs of Bagyenda’s alleged properties in the posh suburbs of Ntinda, Naguru, Bugolobi, and Mbuya. Also being investigated is a shs300 million worth property a, condominium block, measuring 213 square meters, located on plot 5A Sunderland Avenue in Kampala.

The rich lady also has properties registered in her names on Plot 410-411 Makerere Hill Road, a residence on Plot 28 along Kimera Close in Ntinda as well as a huge property estimated in billions of located on Plot 20, Balikuddembe Road.

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Patrick Jaramogi is a trained Crime, Financial and Fraud investigative journalist. He is a senior writer and Editor at the Investigator. He can be reached via email: [email protected] or watsup +256772426211​​​