Ugandan Ministry Urges Investors to Exercise Due Diligence Amid Reports of Business Scams

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Batebe. PHOTO/COURTESY

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Irene Batebe, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, has advised potential investors to conduct thorough due diligence before entering into any business agreements to protect themselves from fraud.

Her remarks come in response to reports of Ugandans and investors falling prey to fraudulent business transactions, resulting in significant financial losses. Batebe’s comments were prompted by the recent case of Chinese firm Peace Oil and Gas Ltd, which believed it had acquired the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), only to discover that it was a scam.

Batebe emphasized the importance of proper due diligence, stating, “This is similar to any other form of fraud. We can only recommend that potential investors always conduct comprehensive due diligence before engaging in any business transactions. Our processes and procedures are very clear.”

Peace Oil and Gas Ltd had presented documentation suggesting it had acquired UNOC, but the transaction turned out to be fraudulent. Zhang Jilong, the firm’s proprietor, was unable to provide a clear account of the transaction or identify the individuals responsible, as reported by New Vision on November 1, 2023.

UNOC is a government-owned limited liability company with a primary role in managing the government’s commercial interests in the petroleum sector and ensuring the sustainable exploitation of the country’s petroleum resources.

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