An American deported from Uganda and charged in a multimillion dollar counterfeiting scheme appeared before a federal judge in Pittsburgh.
Ryan Andrew Gustafson, 28, was deported to the US last week after court charged him with counterfeit of more than Ugshs 540million, with allegations that on arrest he was found in possession of US$10,000 (about sh27m then) counterfeit currency. He also reportedly connived with a one Christopher Kato to sell US$ 10,000 counterfeit money to Cedric Namakoola.
And, while in after deportation, the US the Western Pennsylvania court indicted Gustafson on charges that he had printed about US$1.4 million in fake US currency, about US$400,000 of which was sold online and shipped to the United States, federal authorities said.
Gustafson was denied bail after Assistant US Attorney Shardul Desai asked Magistrate Maureen Kelly to keep him in jail until his trial, saying that the suspect might flee back to Uganda where he has a wife. Gustafson was arrested last year and charged with unlawful possession of counterfeit currency notes and last week Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Flavia Nabakooza ordered that he be deported. But Gustafson told the magistrate he preferred to remain in a Ugandan prison and that he’d be killed if he were returned to the United States.
Uganda agencies lauded
Meanwhile, Uganda security agencies have been commended by the United States for their efforts in making sure that Gustafson is deported to face charges.
In a press release by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, David Hickton and Special Agent in charge of the US Secret Service – Pittsuburg Field Office, Eric Zahren commended the Ugandan agencies for ‘their tireless efforts’.
According to Attorney Hickton, several agencies in Uganda and the US including the Directorate of Public Prosecution, the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department, the Special Investigations and Intelligence Unit, and Stanbic Bank in Uganda and, the US Secret Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the US Postal Inspection Service; Homeland Security Investigations; US Customs and Border Protection; and the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance played a big role in bringing Gustafson to face justice.
“Identifying, charging and returning Ryan Gustafson to the United States from Uganda required extensive cooperation among diverse international law enforcement partners,” stated U.S. Attorney Hickton. Adding, “as a result, a multimillion dollar international cyber counterfeiting scheme has been disrupted and its principal will face justice on American soil.”
Special Agent Zahren promised that U.S. security agencies will continue to work closely with enforcement partners to dismantle criminal enterprises seeking to victimize innocent victims, regardless of geographic distance or borders. “Special thanks to Ugandan law enforcement officials and the United States Embassy Uganda for their assistance,” he said.