The Criminal Court in Uganda summoned Prince Shah Karim Al-Husayni, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and owner of Diamond Trust Bank Group, to answer to charges of theft, electronic fraud, making false entries in financial ledgers, computer misuse, uttering false documents, and conspiracy to commit felony alongside his staff: Group C.E.O and M.D DTB Africa, Nassim Mohamed Devji; C.E.O DTB Uganda, Varghese Thambi, and Head Of Credit DTB Uganda John Sitakange.
This is the second time Diamond Trust Bank’s top management has been summoned. The M.D. was summoned by the Financial Intelligence in May 2021 for money laundering investigations. This is in response to alleged illegal and suspicious debit transactions from Tycoon Hamis Kiggundu’s and Ham Enterprises U Ltd.’s bank accounts over a ten-year period.
The four are scheduled to appear in Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court on September 28, 2021, to enter a plea on charges of theft in violation of Section 254 of the Penal Code Act Cap 120, and making false entries in financial ledgers in violation of Sections 47 (1) and (3) of the Financial Institutions Act of 2004.
In March last year, Ham dragged both banks to court for dubiously debiting over Shs 120 billion from his accounts without his consent. On Court records, the Bank admitted to not having an operational license allowing it to operate in Uganda as required by law. And in a landmark judgment on October 7, 2021, the High Court convicted Diamond Trust Bank Uganda and Kenya for violating the Financial Institutions Acts and the Banking regulations of both Uganda and Kenya, among other illegalities committed.
The High Court ordered DTB to pay the bank the over Ugx. 120 million ($39 million) that it had illegally debited, plus an eight per cent annual interest rate. Diamond Trust Bank filed an appeal, and on May 5, 2021, the appellant judges imposed an illegality burden on the bank, which has since escalated into theft and fraud charges.