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Money laundering: Equity Bank Uganda, MTN Uganda under fire over agency banking scam

By An Executive Editor

Equity Bank Uganda and telecom giant, MTN Uganda have come under fire for facilitating money laundering using agency banking.

Well-placed sources in the Financial Intelligence docket have confided in us that Equity Bank, using its branch at Market Street, send a minimum of Shs 100 million to an agent banker of their choice. However, as soon as the money drops, the agent is ordered to transfer the said money to a mobile number they provide.

“What you know is that the money is from Equity Bank. However, you don’t know the person or people behind it, and what the money is meant for. But also what is sure is that officials of Equity Bank are aware because they have details of every agent banker operating in this country. Remember, they are not using only one agent,” says a knowledgeable source in finance intelligence.

Once you question whose money this is and its purpose, the source adds, “They block your account.”

Already, this news site understands that agency bankers used in this scam before have complained both informally and formally while some are opting to go to court.

The Kampala Gazette understands that the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) has ordered Equity Bank Uganda to give the Authority a report on these transactions.

MTN Uganda

Sources further say that after the money has been sent to an agent’s account, a phone call comes, ordering the receiver of the money to send the money to a particular number.

However, once you show any attempts to question (having been used before in a similar manner), your account is blocked by MTN Uganda.

“They don’t want to listen to your side. Already there is breach because by the time someone unknown to you calls me by name and directs you to send the money to a particular number, that means your private details are with that person (a third party).  That’s breach of contract and privacy,” an analyst says.

Insiders say that MTN Uganda has equally been directed by the FIA to give a report on such transactions.

(Next, we reveal those involved and how the cartel operates).  

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