Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has spoken out for the first time on Bank of Uganda (BoU) printing of money saga.
It is alleged that BoU officials printed Shs90bn extras cash for their own use.
In a statement, Dicksons C Kateshumbwa (in featured photo), the Commissioner Customs, who is also the Acting Commissioner General says that in April this year, URA Entebbe Customs was informed by BOU of an impending import of Currency and requested to facilitate quick clearance.
Kateshumbwa explains that a private chartered plane arrived and as normal practice for sensitive cargo, Customs facilitated clearance of the currency at the tarmac in presence of BOU Officials, BOU Security, Aviation Security, Police and other security agencies.
“The consignment was offloaded, inspected and loaded on BOU vehicles and taken to KAMPALA under heavy security escort,” Kateshumbwa says in a statement.
He adds: “The same plane contained other cargo which belonged to various individuals / companies / organizations. As per normal customs clearance procedure, this cargo was offloaded into the licensed bonds at the airport and subsequently the owners made customs declarations, paid applicable taxes and Customs physically verified each consignment to ascertain accuracy and consistency with the declaration and released the goods to the owners.”
He added that each consignment had its individual airway bill.
“Customs was not party to the airline charter arrangements between BOU, the airline and the other owners of the goods. It is not the responsibility of Customs to concern itself in logistical arrangements of importers or exporters. Our duty is to ensure that imported cargo through the airport is received and tallied with the cargo manifest, verified and is cleared in line with the Customs Laws as established under the East African Customs Management Act (EACCMA),” he explains.
He adds: In this particular consignment like all others, our Customs staff followed the procedures to the dot and we can account for the cargo cleared fully. URA has provided the details of the information required by the investigators and we are available to offer any clarification if required. URA should not be dragged into logistical contractual failures or mistakes of BOU and their service provider.”