The State has objected to the application in which Ms Angella Vivienne Chebet is seeking bail pending trial, saying she is a fugitive who jumped bail granted by a Swedish Court.
State Attorney Innocent Alito told the Anti-Corruption High Court on Wednesday that Ms Chebet is wanted by authorities and that the international police issued a red notice after she fled in 2017, upon being granted bail.
“The applicant (Chebet) is charged with money laundering, a serious offence carrying a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison or a fine of Shs2b. The amount involved is Shs23b, which she, together with her Swedish boyfriend Heinsoo Sten, defrauded a company, Einar Matsson AB and it was wired to her account in Barclays Bank, her Ugandan husband, Sulaiman Kabangala (aka SK) Mbuga and a one Muhammad Mbabaali,” she said.
According to Ms Alito, the applicant was jointly charged with Mr Sten over gross fraud in the Swedish Court. While responding to the bail application by Ms Chebet, the State Attorney warned that if granted bail, she might escape yet the sureties presented do not have the financial ability.
However, Ms Chebet, through her lawyer, Mr Emmanuel Wamimbi, asked the court to disregard the state’s assertions, saying there is no proof presented to court to prove that his client has been on the run.
“About the red notice, there is no evidence to prove that the applicant was summoned. And the police having issued a red notice, it means that the applicant is not a flight risk,” Mr Wamimbi said accusing the State of violating Ms Chebet’s right and defying court orders to have her released on bond.
Ms Chebet, the wife of businessman and socialite SK Mbuga, is on remand at Luzira Prison over fraud in connection with defrauding millions of Shillings from a Swedish national.
She was charged, but she denied six counts of obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering.
It is alleged that on April 7, 2015, in Kampala, with intent to defraud, Ms Chebet obtained Shs152,810,000 from Mr Sten by falsely pretending to facilitate a gold deal or transaction whereas not.
The State contends that on April 13 2015, Ms Chebet obtained Shs167,595,200 from the said Sten pretending to facilitate another gold deal, and that on May 28, Ms Chebet allegedly obtained Shs107.6m.
On the same amounts of money, Ms Chebet is charged with money laundering where it is stated that on April 7, 2015, she intentionally acquired the money on her Barclays Bank account from Sten knowing at the time of receipt that the funds were proceeds of crime.
Ms Chebet, 33, a resident of Buziga, Upper Kkonge in Makindye Division was arrested mid-February after her husband was extradited to Denmark to face charges related to fraud. Mr Mbuga was arrested in the United Arab Emirates, locked up at the Awiir Central jail in Dubai, a port city on the Persian Gulf, over fraud involving Dubai and Oman businessmen.
He now faces another fraud case in Denmark involving $2.6m (about Shs9.5b) in a gold deal gone bad.