Uganda: Investor charged with theft of Shs1b

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Remanded. Mr Rajiv Kumar Sabharwal, a director of Global Wire Industries Uganda (right), leaves the Anti-Corruption Court on Wednesday. Photo by Kelvin Atuhaire 

By TOM MALABA

The director of Global Wire Industries Uganda has been charged with embezzlement, forgery and presenting false documents in the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo
Mr Rajiv Kumar Sabharwal, 56, appeared before chief magistrate Pamela Lamuni on Wednesday. He denied the charges which comprise 53 counts.

Prosecution contends that between April 2017 and April 2019 at Diamond Trust Bank in Kampala, Mr Sabharwal embezzled Shs1.1b from the company.
He also allegedly forged a March 2, 2019, company resolution purporting that it was signed by his co-director, Mr Rajendra Kumar, whereas not.

The resolution gave Mr Sabharwal purported authority to sign on all Diamond Trust Bank cheques for the company.
He later presented the false document to the Registrar of Companies at Georgia House in Kampala to make alterations on the company’s registration file.

Prosecution further contends that Mr Sabharwal forged the signature of Mr Kumar 25 times and withdrew money from the company account in Diamond Trust Bank on different occasions.

He was also charged with presenting the 25 forged cheques with different amounts of money to Diamond Trust Bank, and allegedly withdrew Shs300m from the institution on April 2 last year.

Mr Sabharwal’s lawyers applied for his bail, but the State Attorney, Mr James Khaukha, objected, saying the suspect’s two sureties Mr Moses Wadawa and Mr Brian Kasalirwe, both businessmen were not substantial.

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According to Mr Khaukha, the duo did not have the financial status to guarantee that Mr Sabharwal, would return to court as and when required.
Ms Lamunu overruled Mr Khaukha and granted Mr Sabharwal a Shs20m cash bail.

He was ordered to deposit his passport and land title in court.
However, Mr Sabharwal could not raise the cash immediately or produce the land title and was remanded to Luzira prison.

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Mr Rajiv Kumar Sabharwal and Mr Rajendra Kumar started Global Wire Industries (U) Limited, a steel and tube producing company based in Mawanga, Mukono District, in 2017.

tmalaba@ug.nationmedia.com

Credit to Daily Observer

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