The Police have arrested three people, among them two senior accountants attached to the immigration directorate, in a fresh work permits probe at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The internal affairs ministry is home to the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), a government agency tasked with regulating migration.
Sources privy to the probe said the accountants were arrested in connection with cases linked to forgeries and accountability, amounting to huge sums of money.
However, other sources say the arrests were related to a “very serious matter” and also included four other officers of a state agency that was not immediately established. On Wednesday, while executing the orders of the top leadership of the ministry, the Police arrested Luke Max Omoding and Connie Sabiiti, both assistant accountants at DCIC.
Police further arrested Janet Nakaggwa, said to be an employee of MM Integrated Steel Mills, to assist in the investigations. The officials were picked by operatives and are detained at Jinja Road Police Station.
The internal affairs ministry has separate offices run by the Police and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence. Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango confirmed that they have ‘three immigration suspects’ in their custody.
Siminyu said DCIC has been undergoing a system review and they had detected some anomalies in the payments for work permits. He said the discovery prompted the management of the internal affairs to call in the Police to investigate, which resulted in the arrest of some staff.
“It is still too early to give you details, but all our clients are advised to ensure that they personally pay for our services in the banks, to avoid instances of foul play in the payments,” Siminyu explained.
He also revealed that DCIC is working with the Uganda Revenue Authority to integrate the payment system for immigration services, in order to eliminate human interaction. Several internal affairs ministry officials have been under probe since last year.
In 2018, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the interdiction of some top officers, following the discovery that foreign operatives, who forcibly repatriated Rwandan asylum seekers, possessed Ugandan passports.
Other cases, which security agencies probed, were linked to fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation of funds, abuse of office and causing financial loss. Sources said detectives have been scrutinizing transactions, visa books, registers, info database, books of accounts and reconciliation and financial records of every branch and department offices.