KAMPALA, Uganda: Had she lied low and stomached the loss silently, Rebecca Nsangi’s hitherto secret criminal dealings wouldn’t have come to the fore. But they did after she filed criminal proceedings against for young men accusing them of purportedly conning her of a whooping UGX1.7Bn.
According to the charge sheet presented before the Buganda Road Magistrate’s court, the four suspects and others at large took the money from Rebecca after successfully convincing her that they were to supply her chemicals that are used in the process of erasing stamps on US Dollars and make them real!
The four are Patrick Lwassampijja aged 27. He resides at Namulanda off Entebbe road. The other one is Stephen Bukenya a.k.a Buke aged 39, a businessman residing at Kikajjo zone in Namasuba, Makindye division. The third is a Somali national known as Muhammad Ali, 26, a resident of Bwanika zone on Namirembe road while the fourth is Rayan Mukasa aged, 32 identified as a businessman at St Mary’s Kitende in Kajjansi.
But when the case came up for the third time bail application, the defense lawyers instead accused Rebecca of luring and conniving their clients into the illegal business of printing fake dollars. They then asked the presiding magistrate to have Rebecca prosecuted as well for sponsoring the crime of printing fake counterfeit.
“The complainant should be the one in the dock for luring young men into the printing of black dollars. She herself isn’t coming to court with clean hands,” the lawyers alerted the trial magistrate of Rebecca’s questionable actions. All this time, Rebecca was bend-sitting at the front row, consistently covering herself with a leesu in order to foil newsmen from capturing her face with their hovering lenses.
In a fully-packed Court room yesterday, the Magistrate adjourned the proceedings to Monday when she will rule on whether Rebecca should join the suspects in the dock as requested by the defense lawyers or not. The court will also rule on whether the suspects will be granted bail and on if, the matter is actually before the right court of jurisdiction.
Our search for legal interpretation from law pundits told us in the interest of this article, that it is illegal for any person to induce the other into participating into a criminal act such as Rebecca reportedly did. “If one person induces the other into committing a crime he or she can be charged with abetting the crime or being an accessory to the commission of the crime,” a highly regarded criminal lawyer, Friday Roberts Kagoro of Muwema and Company Advocates elucidated.
The two charges brought against the suspects clearly indicate that Rebecca knowingly paid the money in order to receive chemicals that were to be used in the manufacture of fake dollars. For clarity, the first charges accuses the suspects of being in possession of papers or passing off as papers that resemble those that are used in the production of US dollars.
The other charge is that of obtaining money by false pretenses where the suspects are accused of having obtained the staggering UGX1.7Bn (Shillings one billion and seven hundred million) from Rebecca by pretending they would secure and sell to her chemicals that are used in the making of US dollars. On the charge sheets, it’s not clear whether she was in possession of the black dollars to clean or the suspects were to provide the same as well.
If the charges turns out to be true, they are likely to elicit the anger of parents of Kajjansi Progressive SS who might end up withdrawing their children from the school in protest to Rebecca’s supposed criminal dealings. Kajjansi Progressive SS is located in Lweza, Kajjansi in Wakiso district. To be fair, the school has been doing well in UCE and UACE over the years.
We have separately learned that the suspects, before being produced to courts of law, had been kept in safe houses for several weeks with alleged intentions of extracting confessions from them. They reportedly refused to budge to the confession threats and facing prolonged detention without trial.
We have established that they were produced before court only after their lawyers went to court to protest the long detention in safe houses. Defense lawyers revealed that until yesterday, their clients were still under heavy pressure to confess to the charges or be denied bail. The intention is to thwart the case from going to full trial ‘so as to save’ Rebecca’s face from being exposed as a black dollar dealer.
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