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    Inside Equity Banks shs. 65 Billion Money Heist

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    Inside Equity Banks shs. 65 Billion Money Heist
    • April 13, 2024 • 1 month ago
    in summary
    After a thorough investigation into the Shs65 billion heist at Equity Bank, former Executive Director for Commercial Banking, Mr. Kenneth Onyango, has been arrested in connection with the syndicated heist. The arrest is part of ongoing efforts that have seen seven other suspects, including former employees of Airtel Uganda, apprehended for their involvement in the fraud.

    After a meticulous investigation into the Shs65 billion heist at Equity Bank, the long arm of the law has finally caught up with Mr. Kenneth Onyango, the former Executive Director for Commercial Banking at Equity Bank. Mr. Onyango was apprehended by detectives on Thursday in connection with a syndicated heist involving nearly a dozen individuals, including those not directly employed by the bank.

    Mr. Onyango's arrest follows the apprehension of seven other suspects, including two former employees of Airtel Uganda, who are currently in Police custody. However, this might only be the beginning, as authorities indicate that more arrests are imminent, with the recent capture potentially leading to the apprehension of additional suspects both within and outside the bank.

    The suspects are facing charges related to fraud, including money laundering, in connection with the disbursement of Shs66 billion in unsecured loans to unqualified individuals. The investigation has focused on the "Stocking Financing" and "Agency Float Financing" products offered by the bank. Stock Financing is a credit product aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and businesses with working capital, while Agency Float Financing provides loans to Equi Duuka agents to support their businesses.

    Last week, detectives also arrested Godfrey Mukwaya and Robert Mugumya, both former employees of Airtel Uganda, in connection with the fraud. They join Julius Musiime, head of Equity Agency Banking, and four other suspects outside the bank who are believed to have been involved in the illicit activities.

    The arrests come after Equity Bank, under the leadership of CEO James Mwangi, cooperated with authorities, providing extensive documentation and records as part of the investigation. The bank has expressed its commitment to accountability and transparency, stating that those found responsible for the fraud will be dealt with according to its policies, procedures, and ethical standards, as well as the laws of the country.

    The scandal has cast a shadow over Equity Bank's rapid expansion in recent years, under the stewardship of Samuel Kirubi. Despite the bank's growth, auditors have uncovered suspicious activities that took place during this period, leading to questions about the bank's internal controls and oversight.

    As investigations continue, Mr. Onyango's role in the heist is under scrutiny, particularly his approval of some of the fraudulent loans. The bank has indicated that it intends to recover the lost funds through legal means and hopes that prosecution will lead to justice being served.

    For Mr. Onyango, the consequences of his alleged involvement could be severe. If found guilty, he could face a lengthy prison sentence, similar to the fate of Vietnamese billionaire Truong My Lan, who recently experienced the full force of the law for financial wrongdoing. As the investigation unfolds, the full extent of the heist and the involvement of all parties will become clearer, shedding light on one of Uganda's most significant financial scandals in recent memory.

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