15 January 2018

Tanzania: We Are Guilty, Two in 724m/ - Loss Case Say

TWO Indian nationals, Kalrav Patel and Kamal Ashar, have pleaded guilty to several counts relating to fraudulent use of communication network and occasioning loss of over 724m/- to the government and the telecommunications industry.

They were brought at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam last week when they decided to change their position in the criminal trial they had been facing since May 2017.

The prosecution is expected to present more facts on the matter today before Principal Resident Magistrate Wilbard Mashauri.

In their first arraignment on May 8, 2017, they were not allowed to enter a plea as they were charged under the Economic Crime Control Act.

Other counts include conspiracy to commit an offence, operating electronic communications without a licence, use of unapproved electronic equipment, importation and installation of electronic communication equipment without a licence and use of unapproved electronic equipment.

It is alleged that in 2015, at diverse places in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, the accused persons conspired to commit an offence of importing electronic communication equipment without a licence.

The prosecution alleged that at unknown dates in the city; knowingly Patel and Ashar imported into Tanzania some electronic communication equipment, which are Voices over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateways and Cisco Router without having a licence issued by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

According to the prosecutor, the accused persons, at unknown dates within Zanzibar Municipality, installed and maintained the said equipment without licence and that between February 25 and April 18, 2017 allegedly used the equipment which were not approved by the Authority.

The prosecution alleged further that within the same period, they unlawfully operated an international gateway to receive and transmit telecommunication traffic without a licence issued by the Authority.

It is alleged further that between February 25 and April 18, 2017 in Zanzibar Municipality, unlawfully and with intent to avoid payments, all accused persons transmitted international telecommunications traffic without using a gateway licensed by TCRA.

The prosecution further alleged that within the same period, being unlicensed operators, Patel and Ashar terminated international telecommunications traffic by using unlicensed GSM VoIP gateways, thereby causing a pecuniary loss of 724,140,000/- to the government and TCRA.

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