U.S. imposes sanctions on two Ugandan judges over children’s adoption scam


U.S. imposes sanctions on two Ugandan judges over children's adoption scam
Justice Wilson Masalu Musene. PHOTO | COURTESY

The United States has imposed sanctions on four Ugandans including two judges accusing them of participating in a fraudulent adoption scam.

The judges are Moses Mukiibi and Wilson Masalu Musene while the other two are lawyer Dorah Mirembe and her husband, Patrick Ecobu.

“Deceiving innocent Ugandan families into giving up their children for adoption has caused great suffering,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich said in a statement.

The four Ugandans are said to have participated in a scheme that removed children from their families under a promise of “special education” programs and study in the United States only to offer them to American families for adoption.

“The individuals involved in this corrupt scam deliberately exploited the good faith of Ugandans and Americans to enrich themselves.”

Monday’s action freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

The State Department also barred Mukiibi and Musene from traveling to the United States.

The Treasury said Mirembe’s law firm promised vulnerable families in remote villages that their children would be moved to Kampala for education, where American prospective adoptive parents then traveled to adopt children from an unlicensed children’s home.

The Treasury also accused Mirembe, with help from Ecobu, of facilitating multiple bribes to judges Mukiibi and Musene.

In a separate action, the Department of Justice on Monday said it had charged Mirembe and an American, Debra Parris of Lake Dallas, Texas, in an indictment filed last week with money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the alleged Ugandan scheme.

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