Bank Staff Convicted Over UGX 787m Fraud


A former employee of Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) has been found guilty of stealing UGX 787million from the bank.

Daniel Kirumira Kalinda, the then bank’s compliance officer, irregularly transferred the money from the bank’s general suspense account to the personal account of Christine Namazzi, hence causing financial loss to the bank.

On Tuesday (February 14), the Anti-Corruption Court judge, Jane Okuo Kajuga, convicted Kirumira of embezzlement and electronic fraud whereas Namazzi was also found guilty of receiving the stolen money (sh787m).

Sentences are yet to be delivered. The offences of embezzlement and electronic fraud attract 14 years imprisonment.

“Having considered all the evidence on record and the detailed submissions of all parties, I find that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Kirumira stole sh787m from Diamond Trust Bank,” she ruled.

According to the judge, Kirumira had no claim of right to the money, but personally transferred it electronically to Namazi’s account with fraudulent intentions.

“The money belonged to DTB, but Kirumira was the planner and executor of the theft,” she noted.

In regard to electronic fraud, the judge ruled that Kirumira between September 23, 2015 and March 21, 2019 at DTB in Kampala, made false transactions in the banking system, and transferred sh787m from the bank’s general ledger suspense account to the bank account of Namazzi.

The court heard that Kirumira regularised overdrawn accounts, made false entries in the bank’s banking system and credited sh787m from the bank’s general suspense account to Namazzi’s account.

According to prosecution, the transfer to her account, was effected through a total of 183 transactions of different amounts.

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The bank’s finance manager, Godfrey Ntare Rwaguma, told court that he came to know of the fraud in March 2019 when they changed roles in the finance department.

“I was carrying out a reconciliation with others in the department when I realised numbers on the branch suspense general account were not tallying. After review, we discovered that the account on which the money was deposited was not on the list that had been given to Kirumira,” Rwaguma told court during the trial.

The judge ruled that the postings by Kirumira are reflected and indicated as “inhouse transfers” in the transaction details in the bank statement.

“The pieces of evidence confirm that money was transferred from in-house accounts to that of Namazzi by Kirumira, who was not authorised to do so. Kirumira, therefore, abused established procedure of the bank,” she noted.

Kajuga further observed that, “Kirumira is connected to the fraudulent transactions through the user identification on the system.”

The judge said Kirumira was also responsible for reconciling and reviewing the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Umeme and other accounts from which funds were credited to Namazzi’s account.

“Kirumira had access rights to input the system, giving him the ability to create new records and to save them. At one point, Kirumira was able to call Namazzi, directing her to redeposit sh10m,” the judge noted.

Kajuga said Kirumira’s actions were fraudulent because he used Namazzi’s account as his.

“It is the prosecution’s uncontroverted evidence that all employees of DTB are required to have accounts with the bank as a policy. Why then didn’t Kirumira use his account?” she said.

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The judge ruled that Kirumira was also involved in debiting of the general ledger account used in the processing of transactions on collection accounts, noting that the accounts were directly debited and money credited on Namazzi’s account.

“The fraud covered several years and was never detected by the supervisors or internal auditors. It also appears to have escaped the eyes of the finance department. This was an administrative weakness that facilitated the fraud,” she added.

Court heard that Kirumira would input the file, upload and then request any authoriser at the head office in Kampala to complete the posting process, which demonstrates that Kirumira carefully manipulated the process to complete.

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