We’ve no link to South Sudan $10 million dollars (KSh1.03billion) cash allegedly banked by Gen. Cirillo, says Ecobank

By STAR REPORTER @thestarkenya, FEB/25/2017, SSN;

Ecobank yesterday denied any involvement in the Sh1.03 billion (10 million dollars) transferred from South Sudan by a former government official, and which is now a subject of investigations.

The South Sudanese government has reported tracing its missing money to accounts at three banks in Kenya. These are linked to Lt Gen Thomas Cirillo Swaka, a former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of Logistics, and his kin Fueni Cirillo.

Ecobank said documents, including a bank statement, bearing its letterhead were falsified.

“We wish to confirm we neither hold the account number published in The Star newspaper nor have any accounts that bear names similar to what was mentioned in The Star report. Furthermore, the bank statements published in the newspaper are falsified,” the bank said in a statement.

Ecobank said there are glaring inconsistencies in the story and documentation relied on to publish the report, including a non-existent account number, non-existent account names and a wrong branch address.

“The story indicated that $10 million had been stolen from the South Sudan government and stashed in three Kenyan banks, among them Ecobank Kenya. We wish to emphatically state that we adhere to strong anti-money laundering policies, as well as Know Your Customer procedures in line with best practice and regulatory requirements,” the bank said.

“We conduct our business professionally, ethically, with integrity and in accordance with Kenyan laws and regulations, as well as international best practice and have put in place a robust vetting process aimed at ensuring Ecobank Group and all its affiliates are not used as conduits of money laundering.”

Ecobank said it has not received any official request from the authorities on the issue.

Sudan Chief of General Staff Paul Awan said the cash went missing after Swaka quit his job and defected from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

A letter dated February 9 shows that Awan asked Renish Omullo, a special envoy in charge of Germany international and regional affairs, to trace and return the cash, which was transacted in US dollars.

Omullo wrote to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on February 10 requesting that bank accounts held by Swaka and Cirillo be frozen.

Swaka was described in the letter as a former SPLA officer and fugitive in Kenya who stole more than $10 million. In his resignation, Swaka accused President Salva Kiir and SPLA leaders of abuses and pushing the tribal agenda in the country.

=================================================== ORIGINAL ARTICLE BY THE STAR NEWSPAPER, NAIROBI, KENYA

South Sudan traces missing Sh1.03 billion to Kenyan banks

Feb. 21, 2017, 9:00 am
By MAURICE ALAL, @alalmaurice, The Star, Nairobi, Kenya.

The South Sudanese government has reported tracing its missing Sh1.03 billion to accounts at Ecobank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Co-operative Bank of Kenya.

These are linked to Lt Gen Thomas Cirillo Swaka – former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of logistics, and his kin Fueni Cirillo.

Cirillo is reportedly a Human Resource Managament student at Mount Kenya University. But MKU has denied she is a student there. No further details were provided about her.

An Ecobank statement seen by the Star shows transactions on the money after it was reported missing from the South Sudan government this month.

These were for account 0040025032685901 belonging to Fueni.

Paul Awan, chief of general staff, said the cash went missing after Swaka quit his job and defected from Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

A letter dated February 9 shows that Awan asked Renish Omullo, a special envoy in charge of Germany international and regional affairs, to trace and return the cash which was transacted in US dollars.

Read: Kenyan woman appointed special envoy for South Sudan in Germany

Renish wrote to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on February 10 requesting that bank accounts held by Swaka and Cirillo be frozen.

Swaka is described in the letter, also seen by the Star, as a former SPLA officer and fugitive in Kenya who stole more than $10 million.

“This office is under instructions from the Office of the President, Government of South Sudan to kindly request you to facilitate a freeze of these accounts and recover the money back to Bank of South Sudan A/C name – Military Strategic Division; A/C no – (USD) 0026921002607,” Renish says in her letter.

“However this letter has not gone through our embassy in Nairobi because of the sensitivity of the matter and conflict of interest at the embassy.”

Renish said the money had already been secured and would be rerouted back to South Sudan.

Reached for comment, Ecobank said in a statement: “We do not have such an account, neither do we have an official request on the same.”

Co-operative Bank and KCB were not immediately available for comment while officials at the Foreign Affairs ministry referred the Star to the Interior ministry.

In his resignation, Gen Swaka accused President Salva Kiir and SPLA leaders of abuses and pushing the tribal agenda in the country.

He becomes the second highest-ranking officer to resign after Gen Bapiny Monytuil since clashes erupted between government soldiers and opposition fighters in July 2016.

Read: How ‘false’ Facebook post caused death of 272 in South Sudan

A report revealed in September last year that South Sudan’s political and military elite had siphoned money from their country and bought expensive assets in Nairobi and other capitals within East Africa.

Among the many details outlined in the report are pictures of luxury villas, said to be owned by politicians and generals in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Australia.

Read The Sentry’s investigative report: War crimes shouldn’t pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan

18 Comments

  1. Roberto Kasongo says:

    After Ecobank has set the record straight, I wonder what would Dinka idiots say? They rushed to judgments before they gather facts. It is a typical behaviour of Dinka. The whole thing was an attempt by fool Paul Awan to ruin Thomas Cirillo reputation.

    Roberto Kasongo ( Bana Equatoria )

  2. Kikiji says:

    SS always swims in dirty water. Faking everything ranging from fake coup detat, July incident and faking banking information. This is a serious crime. From today onwards no one is going take you as genuine people to work with. What had happen to ideals of South Sudan. Can we conclude all what has been written by Crillo is 100% right? There is need for change of strategy. Making and Kiir has buried SS.

  3. Waleh Lo matat says:

    Finally, as i had predicted, time has proved glaring truth from naked lies concocted by the stone aged JCE. Now, where are the barking voices of the tribal soaked Jieng fellows who often believes their elders blindly without checking their facts? they have all vanished shamelessly from this discussion forum after Ecobank refuse to endorse their evil plan against the most decorated professional and leaving hero SPLA general. Can any sound minded South Sudanese believe any story coming from this tribal kleptocratic regime again? i leave this one for you to judge.

  4. mading says:

    Roberto. That bank can lied to protect it customer and it image, so don’t fall for so deep. Also as long dumbed people like you don’t differentiate between Dinka politicians and none Dinka politicians, you will never win anything with out Dinkas support.

    • Roberto Kasongo says:

      Mading,
      I think you have a problem understanding English language and subject matter under discussion. If you read the two articles by the Star newspaper, understood the contents of the articles then you would have known who lied. According to a Kenyan woman called Renish, appointed by your tribal chief Kiir as special envoy for South Sudan in Germany, the alleged missing money was trace to an account at Ecobank. These funds have been recovered and would be send back to South Sudan. Now, Paul Awan has to show that he received the money he said was missing. If he does not confirm the transfer of money form Ecobank to South Sudan, then he lied.

      Roberto Kasongo ( Bana Equatoria )

  5. False Millionnaire says:

    A prostitute and à Bank are two faces of the same coin.
    Go grow up again in life if u still haven’t and u will be able to understand the two being one before hastening to believe in ecobank’s rubbish.

  6. Deng Deng says:

    Unfortunately some of us do not understand and differentiate between money laundering and cattle rustling! Stop cheap propaganda.

  7. King Logunu The Second says:

    False Millionnaire,

    In your culture a thief and a honourable person are two faces of the same coin. This is why Arthur Akuen, the former Minister of Finance, a proven thief, was released from prison by SPLA officers from his home town. Despite stealing millions of dollars from the coffers, he remains a” honourable “man in their eyes!

  8. Kwacha says:

    10 million dollars is too much money for a general to draw and transfer into a bank accounts of another Country. It may be easy for Paul Malong. Not for a sidelined poor man like Thomas Cirrillo.

  9. Defender says:

    The allegation of the stolen money and forged documents that implicate Gen. Thomas Cirilo is expressly made for national consumption. The Kiir does not care about its image in the region or the world. What it cares for is to confuse the people in the country that Thomas Cirillo has stolen money. As the rumor mill has it, the government is now engaged in trying to muzzle the story by paying off Ecobank for this stupid mistake so that they keep mum over the issue.

    For them, it is important to take the people at home for a ride since those who are making these mistakes are not paying for it, whatsoever. It is our hard earned cash that is stolen day and night that will be used to pay for this juvenile adventure.

    It goes without saying, when you bring unprincipled people to govern, they bring the sting with them to the table. They just don’t hide it. Because for them, it does not show or feel awkward.

  10. Madut Anyar says:

    Which Kenyan Bank freezes the stolen funds General Thomas Cirilo and which one is denying having the stolen funds from the general!? Irrational defend just look and sound ridiculous from you people! Grow up mentally!

  11. Martin L. says:

    We must know:
    a- Who is this so called Renish Omullo? Isn’t she the same fake “Kenyan woman” who was” appointed” as a “special envoy for South Sudan in Germany” which turned out to be a hoax? Why would government of South Sudan attempts to recover the alleged stolen money through a “a special envoy in charge of Germany international and regional affairs?”
    b- The whole thing seems a lie!

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Martin L,
      Truly, she is the same person who allegedly is the special envoy of Germany in Juba. If you look at those two properly, the writing cannot be from a representative of an advanced country like Germany. Also, Gen. Malong’s letter is a fake also.
      Editor

  12. Gatdarwich says:

    General Swaka couldn’t possibly make_steal $10 million in the midst of the natural born thieves–the traitorous jenges. Absolutely no way in hell period
    The traitorous jenges Jenges are just desperately concocting lies against General Swaka.

  13. Bol Alier says:

    That’s the problem in South Sudan; when someone you know, related to you or have the political alliance with you stole the public funds; you turn to defend them by all mean despite their obvious guilt of stealing!

    If you guys need this country to move forward with the rule of law; then everybody need to refrain from defending anyone no matter who they are or where they belong to! If the people in the position of power saw care less and defend the people they supposed to condemn; why would anyone else on to care.

    The leaders on top supposed to fear us instead of us fearing them by showing them how they supposed to act lawfully!

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Bol Alier,
      The problem with the Kiir government is that they are all corrupt people and Kiir himself has persistently allowed thieves to go free without prosecution. Today in Juba, there are hundreds of jieng and Nuer millionaires, thanks to the privileges Kiir and Machar endowed on these tribal fellow thieves. Of course there are a few Equatorians like former finance minister, Kosti Manibe and Shilluks like Pagan and others from the smaller tribes.
      Kiir is the problem, why hasn’t he not revealed those 75 thieves in the first place?
      Editor

  14. Bol Aliermur,
    Your stupid JCE and Kiir thought they can fool all people. How much money have been looted by JCE and Kiir and no one has been held accountable. What happened to 75 officials, majority of whom were JCE and their allies? Their companies looted money meant to purchase dura in 2008 and investigation in the Ministry of Justice’s Public Prosecutor were compromised. Vehicles, lands etc continue to be looted and you expect people remain silent? Pay the price now as your Diplomatic missions abroad survive on debts from Countries hosting them after failure to pay them for months. Cirilo is a clean man and he stands with the suffering people. The stupidity of the Government of Dinka Bahr el Ghazal and their JCE is that they failed to differentiate between People of South Sudan and their small region. You have transported money in fuel tanks to your region and left the Government empty, with starving population and even your own are running to Darfur. Only few thugs are benefiting headed by Kiir. This looting was in anticipation of being defeated with time but we will claim this money. Sooner, the battle field reaches Aweil and Warrap which had never felt the pain of Kiir’s manufactured crisis, 2013-2016. A matter of time.

  15. Chol Deng says:

    The truth is, “corruption” has never been criminalized in south Sudan if you think otherwise please show me the law against corruption. Corruption is actually the system itself in South Sudan.
    Therefore don’t get surprised when wild lies are written against individuals, for we are now corrupting information rather than properties because economy has finally collapsed

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