The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence yesterday confirmed that city businessman Sam Buchanan, who was arrested on Thursday night, is under investigation over a wide range of cases related to gold scams and, possibly, murder.
Col Charles Asiimwe, the deputy director of crime intelligence, said they arrested Buchanan on Friday at a hotel in Munyonyo, Kampala, together with three other suspects. “We arrested him at Fancy Hotel in Munyonyo.
There are many cases we are investigating against him,” Asiimwe said, but declined to discuss further details, referring us to the army spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire. Karemire told New Vision that CMI had started an investigation into the matter.
“He is still under investigation. The process has started,” Karemire stated.
Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, noted that they were informed by CMI agents that the suspects, who were on the CMI radar, were at the hotel and that since the security agents were far, Police should help them to cordon off the hotel.
“We got a call from CMI to rush to the hotel and cordon it off because the suspects were there. Our Kabalagala Police Station rushed to the scene, arrested them and handed them over to CMI,” Onyango said.
Among the cases currently being investigated are a $300,000 case reported against Buchanan by Libyans, who claim that he duped them and another case involving South Korean nationals. CMI investigations have also linked Buchanan and his group to the death of Belgian national Eric Yvomr, 54, in April last year.
Sometime back news circulated of a Rwandan Soldier who was a resident in Uganda with the protection of Gen. Kayihura. Buchana had become close to the first family masquerading as a front to businessmen who he late stole from by selling them fake Gold.
It also allegedly believed that Buchana could have masterminded the murder of a Belgian national in Uganda then he fled to Kigali and later to the UK since he holds a UK Passport.
At the time, it was claimed the Belgian committed suicide at Vermigo apartments, after reportedly losing billions of shillings in fake gold deals. Sources at Fancy Hotel told this website that Buchanan was arrested after he reportedly went to the hotel to meet his colleagues.
“He arrived driving a silver Lexus at around 8:00 pm. The other suspects had already arrived, driving a white saloon Sudanese registered car, in the company of South Koreans,” a source at the hotel said.
On Friday, the team was taken back to the hotel and a search carried out on their vehicles, which had remained parked at the hotel and later driven to CMI offices in Mbuya, Kampala. On Saturday, a team of detectives raided Buchanan’s two homes in Muyenga and Bunga and conducted a four-hour search in the presence of his family members.
At Bunga, the search certificate signed by detective Assistant Inspector of Police Nelson Natumanya, attached to Kireka Special Investigations Directorate, indicated that they had recovered a letter to Buchanan from a Japanese business partner.
The search report from his Muyenga home indicates that they had recovered, “one black box locked with some material inside and with numbers 0-9 and C,E.” Buchanan’s wife, Patricia Buchanan, said
“so far, no case has been preferred against him, but we are hopeful the matter will be handled by the investigators. The system will work its way. Let us give it time.”
Buchanan, a businessman of Rwandan origin, has hitherto reportedly enjoyed close links with security. His arrest, therefore, came as a big surprise. According to the family, Buchanan deals in logistics, petroleum products, and gold, among others. In 2018, he dragged another city businessman to Police, accusing him of defrauding him of over sh2b in a bogus property deal.
Intelligence reports show that at one point Buchana moved 2.5 million US dollars from the Rwandan Embassy in the UK to Uganda disguising it as business money. He has been funding crimes as a go-between making payments to individuals as dictated by DMI.
Buchanan, who is known as “Chairman” by peers in the same ‘industry’ has been engaged in several philanthropic initiatives donating money to Boxing federations in Uganda. It is said that he earned the name Chairman for helping out peers who find themselves in trouble over fake deals.
The Belgian, Eric Yvomr died on April 2018, under suspicious circumstances. Joseline Mupfasoni, a Burundian national who claimed to be his wife, was arrested, together with the shamba-boy and later released.
Although Mupfasoni claims that her husband committed suicide by hanging, operatives suspect foul play. Investigations have reportedly established that the deceased had a huge amount of money (about euros 400,000 (about sh1.6b), with which he had planned to buy gold from a certain Kampala-based businessman, now believed to be Buchanan.
Security also says Vermigo apartment located in Muyenga B, where the Belgian national allegedly committed suicide, was rented by the purported Burundian wife.
“We highly suspect that some people could have drugged him, stolen his money and then hanged him to dupe the investigations,” a source said.
Recently, security operatives also arrested Samora, an associate of Buchanan, over accusations of defrauding an investor of about $80,000 through a bogus gold deal