18 June 2014

Tanzania: Fraudulent Foreigners Cause Sh2.1 Billion Loss

THE prosecution has completed the investigations into trial of two Romanians, Razvan Pintilie (47) and Robert Kraus (27), who are charged with fraudulent use of communications and occasioning a loss of 2.1bn/- to the government and Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

Senior State Attorney Tumaini Kweka told Principal Resident Magistrate Isaya Arufan at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam that the prosecution was in position to commence the hearing, but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has not given his consent.

"We pray for another mention date as we await the consent of DPP to empower this court to start hearing the case," the prosecutor submitted.

The magistrate granted the prosecution's request and adjourned the trial to June 25, for mention. The two foreigners, Pintilie and Kraus, who are Executive Manager and Chief Executive Officer of XPLORA Limited, respectively, have not entered plea to the charges since their arraignment a month ago because they are charged under Economic and Organized Control Act.

It is alleged that between April and May 2014 at Raha Data Centre, Banda la Ngozi area in Ilala District, unlawfully and with intent to avoid payments, the two transmitted international telecommunications traffic without using a gateway licensed by TCRA.

The prosecutor alleged that within the same period at the same place, the two accused persons operated an international gateway, which is telecommunication traffic without a licence issued by the Authority.

According to the prosecution, at unknown date in the city, knowingly the accused persons imported to Tanzania electronic communication equipment, which are four Voices over Internet Protocol gateways with several serial numbers without having a licence issued by TCRA.

The two accused persons, the prosecution alleged, at unknown date but in the city, installed and maintained the said equipment without licence and silence and that between April and May 2014 at Raha Data Centre, Banda la Ngozi area, used the equipment which were not approved by the Authority.

"Razvan Pintilie was charged with a separate count of failure to report ownership of Sim Cards, an offence allegedly committed in April this year, in Dar es Salaam, contrary to the Electronic and Postal Communication Act.

The prosecution alleged that Pintilie, being the Chief Executive Officer of XPLORA Limited registered owner of a bunch of Sim Cards bearing numbers 0776990681 to 0776999758 issued by Zantel Tanzania Limited, transferred the said cards to Global Com without reporting the change of possession to Network Service Licensee (ZANTEL).

Between April and May 2014 at Raha Data Centre, Banda la Ngozi area, in Ilala District, being unlicensed operators, Razvan Pintilie and Robert Kraus allegedly terminated international telecommunications traffic by using unlicensed GSM VoIP gateways.

As a result, the prosecution alleged, the two accused persons caused a pecuniary loss of 2,109,888,000/- to the government and TCRA.

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