KAMPALA: The Police’s Criminal Investigations Department (CIID) is investigating the manner in which Shs70 million was suspiciously wired from a Ministry of Defence (MoD) account to the East African Civil Aviation Academy (EACAA), but the funds are said to have vanished in thin air and officials have falsified documents for accountability.
The CIID boss, Grace Akullo, told Eagle Online last week, that her office had received the complaint towards the end of 2013 and a team of investigating officers were assigned to look into the matter.
“I received that case a while back, and its conclusion has been long overdue” due to some hiccups, largely pending audits of aviation school by the Auditor General.
She added, “Our officers also had to go to Soroti but am yet to get a briefing about what they found out.”
The complaint to CIID was filed by a whistle blower who indicated that on February, 02, 2013 the funds were transferred to the EACAA account in Stanbic bank by the MoD.
The money was to pay various expenses, namely allowances for course instructors on air traffic control, induction courses for the UPDF Air Force.
However on 22nd of the same month, a total of Shs19 million and Shs18 million respectively was withdrawn using cheques, and a one Captain Patrick Nduru, a financial controller for the said training and representative of UPDF Airforce based in Soroti was allegedly given Shs30 million, according to documents seen by this newspaper.
The documents indicate that another Shs15 million and Shs16 million respectively were withdrawn and used by the acting Director of the Soroti based flying school Ronald Lodiong.
“The documents and or vouchers used seen, however indicate that they were paying instructors from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who trained UPDF Air traffic controller trainees on allegedly non-existent courses at EACAA and on a course that didn’t take place,” the whistle blower document reads in part.
Documents however add that CAA maintains air traffic control assistants at the academy and meets all its expenses at the school. The document seen by Eagle Online also indicate that the said training never took place and all the vouchers for the expenses were “falsified” by Mr Lodiong, Capt Nduru and the accountant David Atenyi.
Each of the eight chief flying instructors for a period of 10 days, according to documents, was to receive Shs11o,000 for a period of 10 days which totals up to Shs8.8 million, but “utterly no training did” take place prior and even after the funds were wired.
“The axis of fraud at EACAA has grown up to vertically and extensively to the highest impunity that should be investigated,” the whistle blower report reads.
Mr Lodiong, told Eagle Online on Saturday that that he had been interrogated by police investigators but the allegations against him are false. CAA officials were not readily available for comment.