Achola pleaded not guilty and applied for bail through the Centenary Bank lawyer, Joshua Sserugendo. She presented her supervisor, Louis Ngabirano and her workmate, Rehema Kakembo at Centenary Bank as her sureties for bail application.
Laureen Achola, a teller at Centenary bank Wobulenzi
branch in Luwero district has appeared before the magistrate’s court for theft
of a veteran’s compensation package worth Shillings 1.5 million. Achola appeared
before the Luwero Grade 11 magistrate, Doreen Ajuna on Tuesday where she was
charged with conspiracy to defraud and steal money meant for John Ollo, a
Achola was arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit
following a complaint by Ollo. According to the charge sheet, on May 26th,
2020, Achola and Faith Aciro, another bank officer still at large conspired to
defraud and stole Shillings 1.5 million after opening an account in Ollo’s name
without his knowledge. It is alleged that when Ollo applied for his
compensation from the Luwero Triangle Ministry he was tasked to open up an
account closer to his home, which he would use to receive the money.
When Ollo went to Centenary Bank Wobulenzi branch, he
found another account opened under his name and Shillings 1.5 million had
already been withdrawn. Operatives from the State House Anti-Corruption and
Policemen interrogated Centenary Bank staff and officials from the Veterans Affairs
in the Luwero Triangle Ministry. The team also engaged a forensic expert who
confirmed that the fingerprints used to open the account and withdraw the voucher
were not for Ollo.
However, the banking
officials insisted that the account was opened by Ollo, who also withdraw some
of the money in person. It is alleged that the banking officials used documents,
which Ollo submitted to the Veteran’s Affairs office to open the account and
withdraw the money. Achola
pleaded not guilty and applied for bail through the Centenary Bank lawyer,
She presented her supervisor, Louis Ngabirano and her
workmate, Rehema Kakembo at Centenary Bank as her sureties for bail
application. The Luwero State Resident Attorney, Roselyn Kipola didn’t raise
any objection to the bail application. In her ruling, the Luwero Grade 11
magistrate, Doreen Ajuna granted the accused bail of Shillings 500, 000
while each of her sureties executed a non-cash bond of Shillings 3 million.
She also extended criminal summons to Faith Aciro, who is on
the run. She ordered the accused persons to appear in court on June 28th,
2021 for the mentioning of their case. In December last year, six Centenary
Bank employees were charged in court with conspiracy to defraud the bank and
unauthorised disclosure of bank information. The suspects reportedly, conspired by deceit or fraudulent means, to
defraud Shillings 152m from Centenary Bank at Isingiro branch.
In April this year, news reports emerged that Police was
also investigating top executives and junior staff of Centenary Bank for
the alleged theft of Shillings 3.5b in forex exchange deals. Beatrice Lugalambi, the bank’s general manager
for corporate communications and marketing said in the statement that they were
aware of the information relating to the purported foreign exchange fraud at
the bank, but said the matter was still under investigation.
“Our Bank continues to maintain a zero-tolerance to fraud policy and remains
committed to ensuring the safety of all the transactions conducted by our bank,”