KAMPALA – The state has slapped 10 new charges related to money laundering against jailed city socialite, Charles Olimu, alias Sipapa.
Sipapa who was arrested in September on offences related to aggravated robbery, appeared before the Makindye Magistrate Court on Monday, where fresh money laundering charges were read to him.
Olimu and his wife Shamira Rukia Nakiyemba appeared before Makindye Grade One Magistrate, Lorna Patience Tukundane on accusations of six charges of aggravated robbery, offences for which the maximum penalty is the death sentence.
The duo heard from court that the charges preferred against them were capital in nature and as such court had no powers to hear their case.
In the new charges, the prosecution led by Eunice Akullo alleges that on August 29 at Kityo Close in Buwate Village, Najjera, Kiira Town Council, Olimu and Nakiyemba for purposes of concealing ownership of motor vehicles defaced the engine and chassis numbers and changed their original colours to red.
It is further alleged that the two suspects on the same day had in possession a motorcycle, car seal, rear bumper for jeep, boot door, side stepper, four car reams, 10 drilling cutter equipment, two amplifiers, and five boxes with assorted tools.
Through their lawyer –Geofrey Turyamusiima, Olimu requested court to avail him with his national identity card and passport citing suspicion in the preferred new charges against him, which he said have been done using his documents.
“Your worship some of the new preferred charges involved breaking into his house, taking his personal belongings, the cameras in his house were distorted and all his properties were taken by police. In that regard I will pray for the sake of my client at least his national identification card and passport be either deposited in this court or to him,” submitted Turyamusiima.
Court further heard that the two suspects applied for bail before the High Court, however, the process could not take place due to lack of committal papers.
Olimu on a separate file is facing two charges of office breaking and theft, which the prosecution alleges were committed on February 3, 2019 at Kisugu, Makindye Division.
The Prosecution alleges that Olimu broke and entered into the office of Mr Atsushi Waada and stole four canon batteries, eleven camera lens, five compact flashes, eight computers, five filters, four hard discs, one electronic dictionary, back pack, electric book, extension tube, a laptop and cash all valued at over Shs100 million.
Olimu and his wife have been on remand since September 9 and were further remanded until January 19 for mention of their case.
The prosecution further alleges that Sipapa, a businessman who deals in gold, cars and a promoter of musicians, and Nakiyemba a designer, and others still at large on the night of August 29 at Bunga Kawuku, Makindye Division robbed Jacob Arok Mul and Ms Mary Ateng of $429.000 (about Shs1.6 billion), two mobile phones, 75-inche Samsung flat TV screen, and an apple MacBook.
During the subsequent investigations, detectives tracked down an iCloud signal from one of the stolen iPhones that reportedly led them to the socialite’s home at Kityo close, Buwate in Kira Division.
Occupants told detectives that the home belonged to Sipapa, who was not at home then. A thorough search was conducted in the presence of Nakiyimba, and exhibits of evidential material, allegedly stolen from the home of Arok were recovered. The articles recovered included $70,000 (about Shs267 million), four iPhones, three laptops, gold jewellery, an iPhone charger and a Mac pro charger. Also recovered were two registration number plates.
Detectives also recovered an assortment of car accessories that included two amplifiers, six tool boxes, four sports reams, a rear car seat, 12 headlights, indicators, jeep bumper, V8 bumper, V8 rear boot doors, bonnet, three radiators, four inner door shutters, V8 rear boot doors, and seven grills. Two cars, a jeep and Audi, without registration number plates that had been sprayed with a red colour, were also found in the compound, according to available evidence presented before court.