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Businessman Mukesh Shukla remanded over Shs 222m fraud

Mukesh Shukla in the dock

Mukesh Shukla in the dock

Nakawa Chief Magistrate's court has remanded businessman cum-politician, Mukesh Shukla to Luzira prison on charges of conspiracy to defraud a Pakistan national of more than Shs 221.8 million.

Mukesh was on Wednesday arraigned before court presided over by chief magistrate Elias Kakooza and charged with obtaining money by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud.

Court heard that Mukesh who is jointly charged with his company, Shumuk Investments Limited and his employees; Judith Ayebare, the manager, and Kadikar Dramdip Anilkumar, the accountant who have not yet been arrested, with intent to defraud allegedly obtained $27,950 (Shs 105 million) and Shs 116 million from Alvi Auto Village Limited pretending that they were leasing/renting two plots of land to the said company whereas not.

According to the evidence before court, the said crime was committed between November 2020 and November 2021 between Banda Industrial Area and Nakawa Industrial Area, Kampala district. Mukesh who was arrested earlier in the day and rushed to court immediately has denied the charges, and through his lawyer, Patrick Bwango applied for bail.

Bwango said Mukesh is an outstanding member of the community who even contested in the Nakawa West parliamentary elections. He said the 61-year-old Mukesh is a family man with a wife and children, has a permanent place of abode and has been LC 2 chairman for more than 20 years. Bwango said the offence is bailable and doesn't involve violence and that the offence is about money that was paid to his company and not directly to him.

"There is a civil suit pending before the Commercial court. We pray he is granted bail pending the outcome of the reconciliation process," said Bwango.

He noted that Mukesh is willing to reconcile with the complainant and seeks an opportunity to do so before a mediator and is willing to deposit Shs 20 million for a start as a gesture of good faith and a sign of willingness to reconcile. Mukesh had three sureties but the court didn't allow him to proceed to present them after the prosecution's Kuluthum Mariam said she had not had an opportunity to peruse the voluminous file and other suspects are still at large.

"I can't inform court how far are investigations. We pray for an adjournment. Your worship, I have been in court since morning, I am sick, am tired I haven't eaten also," said Kuluthum.

The chief magistrate decided to allow the prosecution's request and remanded Mukesh until today May 17. Evidence before court shows that employees of Mukesh's company, Shumuk walked into the office of Alvi Auto Village Limited in October 2020 with a business proposal.

The director of Alvi Auto, Shahid Mahmood Alvi was informed that Mukesh and his company were the owners of plots 148/253 located at Mukabya road (opposite Spear Motors) which they were willing to offer to Alvi Auto to rent/lease for purposes of creating a new car bonded warehouse. 

Records show that it was agreed by the parties on November 1, 2020, that the tenancy would only commence when Mukesh completed construction works on the said plots such as paving the entire land for the car park and securing a licence to operate a new car bond warehouse.  

As a result, Shumuk received Shs 195 million being rental fees paid in advance by Alvi Auto. However, almost a year later without any construction being done on the land, out of frustration, Alvi wrote to Mukesh asking for a refund but was ignored. On October 30, 2021, after several calls and meetings, Mukesh allegedly convinced Alvi to execute a new tenancy agreement for plot 1509/232 as a substitute land for the first land at Mukabya road.

This was after Alvi discovered that the land had disputed ownership, as per the evidence before the court. Evidence also shows that Mukesh and his company asked the complainant to top up Shs 50 million such that he's given the land in Banda instead and failure to develop it, they would refund all his monies.

Records show that Alvi paid Shs 30 million in advance but by November 26, 2021, Shumuk had not yet paved the land. As a result, on December 14, 2021, Mukesh wrote back to Alvi in what he described as a vague letter asking him to make a further deposit of Shs 20 million if he wanted the substituted land in Banda.

By this time, Alvi was frustrated and decided to lodge a complaint at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters which summoned both parties on May 5, 2022, before his lawyers could issue an intention to sue for recovery of more than Shs 225 million. There are now both civil and criminal proceedings against Mukesh and his company in the courts of law. Alvi told our reporter that Mukesh is trying to manipulate the court by saying that he wants to opt for reconciliation and mediation.

"It is just tactics of delay...I have got a lot that I have lost. If you don't have like a 40 per cent of your capital, how will you work it?...It is his tactics of delaying and is just trying to manipulate that court and misguiding court," he said.

Whereas Mukesh is presumed to be innocent on these particular charges, his image is already tainted before courts of law. Mukesh was in October 2022 convicted on six counts of uttering a false document in form of a letter for the official handover of Hotel Diplomat Muyenga, purporting the same to have been signed by the late Bonny Katatumba the former consular of Uganda to Pakistan and his other family members. 

For this specific conviction, Mukesh was sentenced to pay a fine of Shs 2 million on each count or else be imprisoned for two years. He opted for a fine.

Comments

+1 #1 Lysol 2024-05-17 06:05
The corrupt regime of Museveni has turned Uganda into
a money laundering country in the world with the help of those so-called shady investors.

Of course, they help sustain and keep him in power for life
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0 #2 Akot 2024-05-19 19:42
Quoting Lysol:


The corrupt regime of Museveni has turned Uganda into a money laundering country... with the help of those so-called shady investors.

Of course, they help sustain and keep him in power for life.


Thanks.

Only Ugandans, in UNITY around just ONE of thedir own as National Leader, will have the power to block & show Museveni way out!

But as it is, this will NEVER come as he's bolstered with fake elections to ensure his ownership of Uganda, control of every institution & tax money being his pocket money!

Funny, so called tribal leaders bought off by Museveni with tax money just watch subjectrs living in abject poverty without public/social services!
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