By Musasizi Isaac
KAMPALA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: International businessman and founder of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development Foundation Prince Al-Husayn Shan has been summoned by a Ugandan court in connection to a multibillion cash scandal involving his Diamond Trust Bank and a local youthful tycoon, Ham Kiggundu and
A private prosecutor working through Muwema & Co Advocates has jointly sued Prince Shan with three others including Nassim Mohamed Devji, Varghese Thambi and George Sitakange and have been ordered appear before Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate to defend themselves on fraudulent acts committed within their Bank .
The quadruplet are said to have committed theft, making false entries in financial ledgers, electronic fraud, uttering false documents and conspiracy to commit a felony in a Shs.120 billion case which Ham says was debited from his two accounts illegally.
“Whereas your attendance is necessary in court, you are commanded by the Uganda government to appear in this court on September 28, 2021 at 10am as the case can be heard,” the summons dated September 13 and extracted from civil case No.878/2021 reads.
Agha Khan is the owner of Diamond Trust while the rest of the accused are either co-partners or his employees.
Ham is accusing DTB of theft of Shs.120bn from two of his accounts 0204165165 (for Uganda Shillings) and 0204165165 (for US dollars).
“(The four) do not meet the criteria and they are not fit and proper persons to own, control and manage the bank or any financial institution. DTB flouted all ethical, legal standards and norms and it meets the conditions of revoking its license,” Ham’s affidavit in support of the private prosecutor says.
DTB is also accused of filing false periodic annual audit statements as well as uttering false documents to represent the bank’s true financial stand.
“They acted with criminal rush, recklessness and negligence,” Ham says in the affidavit.
He adds he learnt about the swindle through KSK Associates & Certified Public Accountants when they reviewed his account for the period 2011 to 2019.
At the end of the review Shs. 34.2bn and Usd 23.4bn had been illegally debited from the accounts through irregular transactions, irregular bank charges, unauthorized withdrawals, unexplained transactions, overdraft interest overcharge.
When on November 16, 2019 Ham wrote to DTB about the anomalies and financial improprieties, DTB never bothered to address the issues. In his affidavit, Ham says he made a follow-up on January 10, 2020 requesting for full reconciliation of his account, but the bank ignored.
“The bank’s impunity and refusal to honor the tenets of fairness, transparency and reliability underscored the Bank of Uganda Consumer Protection Guidelines of 2011, the complainant had no option but commence legal action,” Ham says in the affidavit.
Now the private prosecutor claim that the four accused “had knowledge of the illegal transactions and they bear criminal liability for the approval and occurrence in committing deception”
His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. In the context of his hereditary responsibilities, His Highness has been deeply engaged with the development of countries around the world for more than 60 years through the work of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
In Uganda as he does globally, he runs a string of hospitality facilities, real estate, educational institutions, banking, media among other businesses.
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