Sam Ssimbwa, the main suspect in the fake arms deal has been relocated to unknown location by Special Investigation Unit of police.
According to sources within police, the reason for his relocation is not to take chances as investigation can be jeopardized since it involves ‘big people’.
Before the relocation, Ssimbwa has been at Kireka based SIU holding cells. While the whereabouts of another suspect, Capt. Ronald Muhoozi who was arrested that very week is also not unknown.
“The decision to relocate the main suspect is due to the sensitive of the matter at hand otherwise, he is safe and fine” a source preferring anonymity because he lacks authority to talk freely said.
Uganda Peoples’ Defences Forces (UPDF) Spokesperson Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda who had previously denied the investigation and accused the media of fanning the ‘rumour’ on Wednesday ate his words when he retracted the earlier statement and admitted that indeed the army and police were investigating the fake arms deal that is allegedly involving Brig. Leopold Kyanda, Chief of Staff Land Forces.
“We would like to state clearly at this moment that sometime in 2015 fraudsters claiming to be representing the UPDF met a representative of a Polish company and in subsequent discussions the investigations have revealed an acceptance agreement was reached on behalf of the ministry of defence,” Col. Ankunda said.
However, EagleOnline has learnt that a team of investigators from the three spying agencies and namely, Special Investigation Unit (SIU), External Security Organisation (ESO) and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) will next week travel to Poland and engage the Irish BMP Poland SP Z.o.o officials as investigation zero on the transaction.
In September last year, conmen disguising as Ministry of Defence procurement team invited officials of the Irish BMP Poland SP Z.o.o for meeting in Bombo, the headquarters of Land Forces.
The organisers, some of them dressed in military uniform, assured top managers of the Polish company that government was planning to procure a big cache of weapons in a deal worth Euros 71 million.
After the meeting, the Poles came out of the meeting contented, knowing they would get the deal and were to pay Euros 7,000 for bidding documents.
Sam Ssimbwa, the alleged lead negotiator, who said was using his company Prima Investments Uganda, later assured the Poles that he was going to negotiate for them to get the deal.
BMP Poland SP Z.o.o later gave powers of Attorney to Prima to negotiate the deal. Ssimbwa later went to Equity Bank and secured a bank guarantee. BMP later wired over Euros 500,000 to Prima bank account in Equity Bank to cover bond security for the deal.
Below is the statement from Ankunda denying investigations
PRESS RELEASE Army speaks out on alleged arms deal
November 14, 2016.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has noted with concern media reports claiming that the UPDF High Command sat over the weekend to discuss an alleged arms deal implicating the Chief of Staff Land Forces, Brig. Leopold Kyanda. The same media reports alleged that the Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence, Col. Mbonye, has been secretly transferred to African Union Mission to Somalia as he was investigating the alleged case and that the alleged deal was signed in Land Forces Headquarter board room, Bombo. The media reports also allege that Brig Kyanda made phone calls to SIU of Police to ensure release of one Sam Ssimbwa. This is to clarify that the High Command did not sit over the weekend as alleged, that there is no case of alleged fake arms deal being investigated by Col Mbonye or the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, and that Brig Kyanda is not currently under investigations of any sort by UPDF. The UPDF further clarifies that the planned deployment of Col Mbonye to AMISOM is normal deployment and not secret as reported. Furthermore, the Information which the sister organs, the UPDF and UPF have shared about these claims does not in any way indicate at anytime that one Sam Ssimbwa confessed to have met Brig Kyanda or conducted such a meeting in Land Forces Board Room. Brig Kyanda has also not made any of the alleged phone calls to SIU in relations to the said case nor did he talk to the one Ssimbwa at anytime. Media houses propagating these rumours are therefore cautioned to stop these false allegations against, Brig Leopold Kyanda, for there are no any clear indications of the Brigadier’s involvement in the alleged case. The public is hereby assured that the reports are unfounded, malicious and aimed at tainting the hard earned good image of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces. The public are further informed that these reports are a psychological war launched by the enemies of the people of Uganda, targeting the top leadership of the UPDF with a view to breaking the trust the people have in their national force. The UPDF has travelled together with the People of Uganda in a long and difficult path to peace and stability that has ushered in development in the country. Any persons who try to break this bond will be stopped using the strong arm of the law. UPDF remains committed to the cause of securing Uganda and its People.