KAMPALA. Six thieves who helped themselves with Equity Bank’s Shs4.6b in 2015 were yesterday condemned to spend between five and 12 years in jail and most of them ordered to pay back the stolen money.
The severity of the sentences varied with the level or extent of each individual’s involvement in the plunder.
The convicts are David Sserwamba, Reagan Okoth, Abubaker Kalungi, Shafiq Mubarak, Mathew Keeya and Isaac Sserwamba.
They were convicted by the Anti-Corruption Court on Wednesday but the sentencing was deferred to yesterday. The trial judge, Ms Margaret Tibulya, banned each of the condemned thieves from public employment for 10 years.
He was sentenced to 10 years in jail on three counts of embezzlement, money laundering and conspiracy. The judge noted that embezzlement is rampant in the country and this one was premeditated by Sserwamba and the stolen amount was astronomical.
“I took into account the negative effect of the crime on the economy, being that the convicts sought to live on income earned through fraud which causes distortions in the economy,” Justice Tibulya observed.
Court ordered Sserwamba to refund $500,000 (about Shs1.7b) to Equity Bank.
According to court, all the sentences against the convicts will run concurrently.
He was sentenced to five years for causing financial loss of $700,000 (about Shs230m) to the bank.
He was sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering. The judge said he was aided by Kalungi to commit the crime.
Justice Tibulya ordered him to refund $20,000 (about Shs70m) to the bank.
Keeya was sentenced to 10 years in jail on two counts of money laundering.
He was found to have mindlessly concealed and disguised the stolen money. He will refund $250,000 (about Shs875m) to the bank.
He was sentenced to a caution. The judge justified the leniency on account that he got involved in the scam at the very tail end after being misled by his big brother, Sserwamba.
“I therefore consider the two years that A7 (Isaac Sserwamba) has been on remand are sufficient for him to reform. I accordingly sentence him to a caution,” Justice Tibulya stated.