Crime & Investigation

URA Hands Over 24 Stolen Vehicles to UK Gov’t

Hearing of the case where former spy chief Gen David Sejusa is accused of insubordination and absence without official leave, remedy before the Makindye General Court martial kicked off today with the first witness testifying.

The hearing of the case started at around 11am in the court hall filled mostly by Sejusa’s relatives and friends.

Prosecution led by Colonel Kagoro Asingura presented its first prosecution witness Brigadier Joseph Musanyufu, mind a 54 year old officer serving as the in-charge of Personnel Administration in the UPDF and at the same time the Secretary to the Commission Board responsible for the retirement of all serving UPDF officers.

Sejusa's son and lawyer Kenneth Munungu outside court

Sejusa’s son and lawyer Kenneth Munungu outside court

In his sworn testimony before the Court Martial chaired by Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga, Brigadier Musanyufu informed court that being that he is a secretary to the Commissions Board, he is in charge of receiving all application forms for retiring army officers but he has never received any from Gen Sejusa and thus he is still considered a serving officer.

Sejusa was remanded back to Luzira

Sejusa was remanded back to Luzira

“In the army, one becomes a retired officer after formally submitting in his or her application to the Commissions Board through the Unit commander and the board decides,” submitted Musanyufu

He further revealed that according to documents in the personal file of Gen Sejusa, he is one of the Army officers who joined the army through a regular method and he is currently among the officers on secondment

“A seconded officer of the UPDF is an officer who is assigned to carry out duties outside the Army and he receives his payment from his field of deployment whereas Regular officers are those who join the army as Professionals,” explained Musanyufu

He based on the print out list of names for all serving UPDF officers by the year 2015 and sighted out Gen David Sejusa as one of the them under serial number R00007, deployed under the status of Secondment to the President’s office.

Gen sejusa's wife Juliet Tinyefunza leaving court

Gen sejusa’s wife Juliet Tinyefunza leaving court

“According to the records, Gen Sejusa is a 61 year old Munyakore, Ugandan by Nationality, who has got blood group A+, Resident of Nkoma village Sembabule District, whose next of Kin is Juliet Tinyefuza his wife, whom they were officially married with at Namirembe Cathedral”

The defense side led by David Mushabe asked court for an adjournment to enable them study the documents served to them by the state so as to cross examine the witness

Chairman Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga adjourned the matter to 18th March for further hearing and further remanded the accused.
A total of 24 vehicles suspected to have been stolen from the United Kingdom have Tuesday been handed over to UK authorities by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

The vehicles mostly Range Rovers, order Audis, Beattles and Lexus were impounded in an operation codenamed ‘Navigation’ in July 2015.

They are valued in billions of shillings.

Some of the vehicles are said to have been imported while concealed in containers loaded with mattresses, while others were intercepted on the roads.

Some of the impounded cars at URA headquarters

Some of the impounded cars at URA headquarters

The claimants have since been hesitant to contact URA for fear of being apprehended.

According to Oyo Nyeko, the Deputy Director of Interpol in Uganda, the operation consisting of Police, URA Customs Department and UK’s National Vehicle Crimes Intelligence Service suspects there’s a racket involved in the theft and delivery of these vehicles.

“This operation is an eye opener and investigations are still ongoing to track down the culprits and have them arrested,” Nyeko told journalists.

He discouraged the public from owning vehicles that are not properly verified.

The URA Commissioner General Grace Akol while speaking at the handover of the 24 vehicles at the Authority headquarters in Nakawa appreciated the good inter-agency coordination and network that led to a successful operation.

She added: “Customs has a role of protecting Ugandans from using dangerous and illegal products and that includes stolen vehicles.”

The British High Commissioner to Uganda, Alison Blackburne hailed the agencies involved in impounding these vehicles which she said indicates close cooperation.

“This is an excellent example of bilateral cooperation across agencies and it marks an end of a long and significant operation,” Ambassador Blackburne said.

The Ambassador pledged UK’s support in training URA staff to continue clamping down on such sophisticated crimes.

Thieves target posh cars for the Ugandan market

Thieves target posh cars for the Ugandan market

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