The United States has slammed financial sanctions and visa restrictions on four Ugandans, including two judges, for an alleged “corrupt adoption scheme”.
In a statement on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, accused the affected individuals of involvement in activities that victimised young children.
Pompeo identified them as judges Moses Mukiibi and Wilson Musalu Musene, and a Ugandan lawyer, Dorah Mirembe, and her associate, Patrick Ecobu.
“They participated in a scam whereby young children were removed from their families and placed into a corrupt adoption network, aided by the facilitation of Ugandan officials.
“Together, these individuals engaged in corruption to arrange the adoption of Ugandan children by unwitting parents in the United States.
“Mirembe’s law firm used the services of intermediary parties to seek out vulnerable families in remote Ugandan villages, promising parents that their children would be moved to Kampala to further their education. “American prospective adoptive parents then traveled to Uganda to adopt children from an unlicensed children’s home in Kampala,” he alleged.
According to him, Mirembe, assisted by Ecobu, facilitated bribes to Ugandan judges and other Ugandan government officials to fraudulently procure adoption cases, either directly or through an interlocutor.
“Mirembe paid bribes to get cases steered to judges Mukiibi and Musene.
“Mukiibi and Musene are current or former government officials who have, directly or indirectly, engaged in corruption.
“These individuals’ actions also resulted in the submission of false documentation to the Department of State for consideration in visa adjudication, a falsification the Department will not tolerate”, he added.