American Netted Over Fake Dollars

Prosecution yesterday asked Buganda Road Court to allow them examine the money printing machines and other exhibits that were recently recovered from an American army veteran.

American Ryan Gustafson in court
American Ryan Gustafson in court

The police claim that Andrew Ryan Gustafson who was last week arrested from Namugongo, Wakiso District printed more than US$1 billion (about Ugx 2.7 trillion) black dollars that had already been circulated into the economy.

The police last week arrested Gustafson who was found with bundles of 50 denomination notes of fake dollars in his house at Mbalwa-Namugongo, Wakiso District.

Still the police recovered from Gustafson seven money printing machines with different colors of cartridges, three pairs of US army uniforms with inscription: Ryan Andrew and a US army bag.

But according to Resident State Attorney Lino Anguzu, it was necessary to apply to court to allow the state carry out a deeper search into the exhibits found with the American.

Anguzu further explained that the law demands that in such scenarios, the state has to ask for permission from court to allow it carry out deeper search otherwise it risks being sued over trespass.

However, the application to allow the state carry out more searches was not heard as Grade One Magistrate Joan Aciro adjourned the case to Thursday December 18th, to allow Isaac Walukagga, the lawyer representing the suspect time to reply to the application.

Walukagga had told court of how he had just received the state’s application and needed time to reply.

The suspect was accordingly, further remanded to Kireka’s SIU till Thursday when he will be brought back to court.

The arrest of Gustafson came at the background of a transaction in which Stanbic Bank branch in Kakira, Jinja District, was ripped off of US$300,000 (about Ugx 800m) in a fake dollar exchange transaction last month.

Accordingly, the bank, in collaboration with police, mounted a hunt for the suspects who were identified after looking at the photographs which the suspects had left at Kakira branch as a requirement when they deposited the fake dollars.

The US secret agents have also picked interest in this particular crime since it had earlier issued an alert that a retired American army colonel named Jack Ferral had entered Uganda and was printing fake dollars which were being circulated in the economy.