KAMPALA, Uganda: Following up on our patriotic campaign to reveal all the dirt that is there to divulge, about the saga that led to the collapse of the Crane Bank Limited (CBL), we dig into how mogul Sudhir Ruparelia’s days of freedom are numbered. This is, but if reports emerging from BOU are to be believed.
We have learned from credible sources privy to one of the forgettable private banks’ loot how the lawyers of the central bank are putting final touches on the investigations into the grave charges that are likely to see the property magnate spending some good days on remand. “Oh yeah, Mr. Investigator, we are working around the clock to have the ends of Justice served in this Cranegate saga” our source intimated to this writer.
They have asked us not to divulge their names or identities because they aren’t permitted to talk to the press and for the fear that the suspects could try to compromise what they are working on or give away vital evidence before the right time.
The investigators do not want at this juncture to say if the central bank is going to prosecute the case by itself or it is going to hand over the evidence to the DPP to prosecute the case on their (regulator’s) behalf. All the same, they remain alert to the fact that the DPP could end up demanding for the prosecution of the case but with the ill-motive of helping Sudhir to terminate it.
“We shall cross the bridge when we get there. We are in the meantime concentrating all our efforts on the investigations and trying to find whatever exhibits that is required for the successful prosecution of the case at hand,” they submit.
On the other hand, we understand moreover, how Sudhir could have been arraigned in the dock by now, but his powerful brokers both within government and State House, have been fighting for him while beseeching the powers that be to save their benefactor.
We even know how the president had waved on the prosecution of Sudhir. But the First Citizen was advised to delay the arraignment in order to give the investigators working on this matter, ample time to weave a watertight case against the businessman boasting of dozens of finer lawyers.
Sudhir, if at all he is finally arraigned, will not be the first proprietor of an ill-fated financial institution to face the music. He will be joining the hall of infamy that has such names as Dr Suleiman Kiggundu, the former Central Bank Governor as well as owner of the defunct Greenland Bank. We promised as well, to drop the serious criminal charges the investigators are likely to bring up against Sudhir and here we go:
The charges spring from colossal sums of money which the investigators say Sudhir stealthily kept removing from the bank he called his. They put the figure at a staggering four hundred billion Uganda shillings. By good luck, the tycoon has since the collapse of Crane Bank admitted extracting money from his own bank.
And more importantly, he went ahead and refunded a total of USD8M out of the loot. Problem though, the businessman has since backtracked from honoring the agreement. He argues that he can’t fill up the huge hole he himself dug into the coffers of the bank he called his.
And he avows that the Central Bank is to blame for his obstinate default. He argues how the regulator itself frustrated the agreement he himself helped to write by allegedly going public about the whole affair yet it was supposed to be a secret between the parties to it.
Well, the bulky entrepreneur is thought to have pulled off the enormous robbery by, among others, using proxies such as Sapphire. Sapphire is a phony company which was cleverly fronted- in the negative sense that is- to appear as if it was one of the genuine shareholders of Crane Bank.
Kantaria is the other so-called phony shareholder of the defunct bank but who was clothed in a fox’s garments to deceive the regulator he was actually one of its genuine shareholders. This one is believed to be a professional banker and a resident of Nairobi- Kenya.
After creating the fake shareholders, Sudhir is said to have given instructions to his workers at the defunct bank to keep paying out dividends to the supposed shareholders. But which money was in actual sense going into the measureless pockets of the man himself.
The list of the charges is long. We are pausing the tale for now to allow you time to digest what we have written so far. Before us is the frigid, detailed yet hitherto much protected 53-page forensic report, compiled by the much respected audit Firm, Price Water. This is which, will henceforth be our main source on matters to do with our ‘Untold CBL Records’ series going forward. Watch this space…
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