Police has finally arrested city lawyer Paul Mugoya Wanyoto over his role in the kidnap and extortion of Korean businessmen at gunpoint.
Wanyoto was arrested from Kampala and is being detained at Special Investigations Division in Kireka.
SCP Womanya Elly confirmed the arrest and said police is yet to issue an international Red Alert against ACP Siraje Bakaleke wanted over the same case.
Wanyoto is accused alongside Samuel Nabeta Mulowooza, the managing director Eye Power Engineering Company and police officers, Siraje Bakaleke, Robert Munezero, Innocent Nuwagaba, Robert Ray Asiimwe, Junior Amanya, Babu Gastavas and Kenneth Zirintuusa.
The suspects are accused of extorting Shs 1.4 billion from Park Seunghoon and Jang Shingu Un, both South Korean nationals who had come to Uganda to purchase gold last year.
The officers reportedly connived with Wanyoto who was representing the South Korean businessmen and placed them at gunpoint at Acacia Mall in Kampala.
The Koreans were locked up at Katwe police station before police officers procured for them air tickets with intentions of deporting them on the orders of assistant commissioner of police (ASP), Siraje Bakaleke.
However, the suspects were intercepted by security operatives before deporting their victims and dragged before the Anti-Corruption court.
Wanyoto who has never appeared before the Anti-Corruption court to plead to the charges recently rushed to the Civil Division of High court seeking an injunction to block his trial, arguing that the charges against him were sanctioned in bad faith.
Through his lawyers of Web Advocates and Solicitors, Wanyoto contends that the DPP acted under the influence of the commandant Criminal Investigations Department of Kampala Metropolitan Area well-knowing that there is no formal complaint against him or sufficient evidence to support the charges.
In his affidavit, Wanyoto states that he is a director/shareholder in Ms. McKinley Resource Company Ltd together with Jang Seungkwon, Park Seunghoon and Ha Dong, whom they agreed with, to independently transact monies on their dollar and shillings account in Diamond Trust Bank. The agreement was reached on January 25, 2018 after the registration and incorporation of McKinley Resource Company Ltd according to the documents before court.
Wanyoto alleged that it was agreed that the monies be secured from their Korean counterpart particularly Wang Yu, who is the collective principle and be remitted to the company account in Diamond Trust Bank.
This was reportedly done to comply with the regulatory and legal frame works regarding a foreign company before commencing business in Uganda. Wanyoto explains that $480,000 was remitted to the company account.
He noted that before they could fully resolve the matters, his co-directors/shareholders were arrested on allegations of terrorism and money laundering. According to Wanyoto, he received a phone call from Park who was locked up at Katwe police station informing him about their arrest.
He explained that after confirming the charges against his business partners, it was agreed that he withdraws $415,000 from the company account. Wanyoto notes in the affidavit that Park and Ha instructed him as their lawyer to help secure their release and freedom. $30,000 was disbursed to him as instructions or legal fees.
“Indeed the following day, I managed to secure the release of Jang, Park and Ha Dongsub”, reads Wanyoto’s affidavit in part.
After their release, Wanyoto says they agreed that the South Koreans travel to Dubai to shed off their nasty experience before returning to Uganda. He explains that he later handed over $415,000 to Ha in the presence of his co-directors Jang and Park and they parted ways since the group was heading to the airport.
Wanyoto claimed that the decision by the police and DPP to slap charges against him was unreasonable and abuse of administrative power since there is no complainant in the case and no proof that he caused a financial loss to the company where he is a co-director.
However, Justice Lydia Mugambe dismissed his application saying she cannot interfere with the work of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
“I cannot interfere with the constitutional powers of DPP to prosecute people,” the judge ruled.