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UFISADI Majirani: Embezzlement in 430 million euros humanitarian projects in Uganda

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MiratKad, Jul 10, 2009.

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    MiratKad JF-Expert Member

    Jul 10, 2009
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    Embezzlement in 430 million euros humanitarian projects in Uganda

    Today, OLAF, the EU anti-fraud body, published its annual activity report. The report highlights the success of international collaboration in the prosecution in Uganda of corruption. Convictions have been gained in Uganda and funds recovered following collaboration involving OLAF, the Serious Fraud Office, the Inspector General of The Global Fund and the Ugandan authorities.
    The Global Fund receives funding from a variety of sources to fight HIV/Aids, TB and malaria. From 2002 to 2005 a total of 230 million euros was contributed to the fund by the European Development Fund and 202 million euros from the EU budget.

    Following allegations of mismanagement of funds in the grant programme to Uganda further payments from the fund were suspended in 2005 and the President of Uganda commissioned a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into alleged mismanagement of Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. Due to the complexity of some elements of the case the SFO provided assistance to the Commission in respect of key elements in the inquiry. The findings of the Commission, published the following year prompted a Government White Paper charging the Ugandan Directorate of Public Prosecutions to launch a criminal investigation, with the assistance of the Ugandan police, into over 300 cases of suspected misappropriation, fraud, bribery, false accounting and perjury. Money that should have been used to provide medicines, medical equipment and disease preventative materials, items as simple as mosquito nets, ended up in the pockets of corrupt officials and their associates in the embezzlement.

    The authorities in Uganda came to recognise that the scale and complexity of this abuse required more resources to examine than they could provide. As they conducted their investigation it became clear that specialist forensic and investigative experience would be needed, as well as case management support. Consequently they called for outside assistance and SFO was initially contacted in 2007.

    Joint investigations
    Throughout the investigation, led by the Ugandan authorities, investigators and prosecution specialists from the SFO, OLAF and the Inspector General's Office of the Global Fund have made a number of joint visits to Uganda to support the police and prosecutors there.

    Arising out of this collaboration, a number of criminal proceedings have commenced. A new Anti-corruption Division of the Ugandan High Court has been established and two local convictions already achieved (sentences five and ten years' imprisonment) and action to recover misappropriated funds is underway.

    As a result of the collaborative assistance given to Uganda, the criminal justice system in that country is now better equipped to tackle large scale corruption cases.

    Richard Alderman, Director of the SFO said, “It is particularly gratifying to see that corruption that endangers the lives of some of the most disadvantaged in our global society is being rooted out. This is a first rate example of skills and experience of European agencies combining so effectively to go to the aid of a country in need and to help that country in its own determination to contribute to international efforts to fight corruption where it can be found”.

    Notes for editors:
    The Serious Fraud Office is a UK government department responsible for the investigation and prosecution of suspected major and complex fraud. The SFO also seeks to pursue and recover, through the courts, criminal assets and where appropriate compensate victims. The SFO also works closely with its anti-fraud counterparts internationally, both in the execution of its own cases and providing assistance to them with their cases.
    OLAF (Office européen de Lutte Anti-Fraude / European Anti-Fraud Office) is the investigation body of the EC responsible for investigating fraud against the EU budget. It is based in Brussels. It works with national authorities in the EU to investigate such fraud in their jurisdictions to recover the funds lost and to bring prosecutions according to the national laws in those jurisdictions. OLAF Press Office tel: 00-32-2-296.75.47
    The Global Fund is a source of finance for programmes to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. For further details The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
    SFO assistance was substantially financed by DFID (Department for International Development).
    Serious Fraud Office
    Elm House,
    10-16 Elm Street,
    London WC1X 0BJ,
    United Kingdom

    Press Office tel: 020 7239 7001/7045/7000/7132
    Main switchboard tel: 020 7239 7272
    Mobile: 0781 807 6688
    Email: press.office@sfo.gov.uk
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009