DENIED HIDING MONEY IN FOREIGN BANK: BoU Director of Communications Christine Alupo

As financial scandals seemingly dog the Bank of Uganda (BOU), the institution has come out to deny local media reports that it ‘hid’ about Shs10.8 billion in GeDeutsche Bank in Germany.
The BOU Communications Director, Christine Alupo says that bank did not ‘hide’ cash in a foreign bank account as alleged in the media.

“These stories misrepresent some of the information that was provided in testimony by the Bank of Uganda before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on August 2, 2017,” says Alupo.
Last week, officials of the Central Bank appeared before COSASE to respond to issues that had been raised by the Auditor General arising from routine end of financial year audits covering three financial years starting from 2013/14.

One of the issues that had been raised by the MPs pertained to a dormant trust account held in Deutsche Bank that had not been reflected in the books of the Bank of Uganda.

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But according to Alupo, the Central Bank opens and executes authorized transactions on government accounts both domestically and internationally.

The account in the Deutche Bank Germany bank, Alupo says, was opened on December 17, 2003 on the instructions of Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, with the purpose to receive proceeds from the sale of shares in DFCU Bank by Deutsche Entwicklungs Gesellaschaft (DEG), a German company, which was a shareholder in DFCU.

“During the process of preparing the annual statements for the financial year 2013/14, Bank of Uganda classified the DEG account as dormant, and accordingly informed the Accountant General in September 2013. From the time the matter of dormancy was raised, it was handled between the BoU and MoFPED in line with procedure related to dormant accounts,” Alupo says.

Alupo further says the authorization to close the account was given by the Accountant General, and that in February 2015, funds worth 10.799 billion (Euro 3.354 million) were transferred to the Consolidated Fund.
“It is, therefore, erroneous and misleading to claim that the Bank of Uganda ‘hid’ the funds in a ‘secret’ foreign account,” she says.