SMOKED OUT! Head of Petroleum Quality assurance at Ministry of Energy netted for fleecing $50m from Serbian investor

SMOKED OUT! Head of Petroleum Quality assurance at Ministry of Energy netted for fleecing $50m from Serbian investor

By our Reporter

KAMPALA – Intelligence information reaching this publication indicates that, a senior officer at the ministry of energy and Mineral Development sitting at Amber house in Kampala is currently detained for allegedly orchestrating a move to fleece USD 50m from a Serbian investor.

The head of petroleum quality and assurance at Ministry of Energy, Mr. Spero Byokunda is currently detained at CPS under reference No- ACU GEF 176/23 by Statehouse Anti-corruption unit after several attempts to arrest him from where he was hiding.

It is alleged that, on 22nd of August this year, Spero Byokunda and others still at large, arranged a meeting with a Serbian investor who wanted to undertake Energy related projects at Amber house inside ministry’s Boardroom.

In the same meeting, Spero instructed George Byomugabe to chair the meeting and surprisingly, he introduced himself as Minister of Energy and Mineral Development in the disguise.

After this meeting, Byokunda demaded for the last installment from the investor but the investor later became suspicious, and thought of knowledge and guidance from higher authorities in government.

The investor was then advised not to pay until the authorities knew the people he was dealing with.

A counter intelligence trap was then set by state intelligence detectives using the investor and the investor was asked to pay them USD 20m. This USD 20m was supposedly to be picked from the hotel where the said investor was risiding.

However, after learning that it was a trap, Byokunda and his colleagues declined to go and pick the money in fear of being apprehended. This sparked off an intense investigation until now, where the involved people are being netted one by one like mosquitoes.

How they outset the arrests
As it is well for their outsmart intelligence, the Statehouse Anti-corruption team took up the matter very confidentially, and officers at the Ministry of energy were seen being taken one by one until the big fish was in their hands.

Our source at Amber house said, these arrests begun when the secretary to Minister of Energy together with Byokunda’s secretary were taken.

They added that according to CCTV cameras, these were directly involved in preparing the meeting venue at Ministry’s Boardroom. After the interrogation, they narrated the whole ordeal behind the said meeting and were later released.

This further led to the arrest of one George Byomugabe on Thursday last week while at Amber house.

Byomugabe was first taken to CPS in Kampala, then later to wandegeya Police station for more interrogation and he was later released on Police bond after spending 5days.

This publication has learnt that it was from then that state detectives discovered other people that were involved. This later led to the arrest of two more people; John Bosco Mugisha aka Boyzon, a Personal Assistant to Hon. Chris Baryomunsi who is the Minister of ICT and National guidance, and finally Spero Byokunda.

It is from this arrest that two gave up names of other members of the gang working in government and other in private business. The two are still inside police coolers

Previously, Mr. Spero Byokunda has severally been in involved in many books of corrupt scandals, where it is alleged that while working with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), he was dismissed for having been involved in fraudulently transactions.

Again at the Ministry of Energy where he’s currently deployed, he’s the same person among others who was arlier this year in April ordered by IGG to refund UgX 70, 159, 400= ( Ref: New Vision 5th April 2023, pg 17), and according to reliable information he has not refunded it to treasury.

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