10 January 2018

Tanzania: Director of Public Procecutions Still Mulling Over Money Laundering Case

THE outcome of the trial of four prominent figures, including renowned advocate, Dr Ringo Tenga, who are facing counts of fraudulent traffic, money laundering and occasioning loss of about 7bn/- charges remains in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Senior State Attorney, Mutalemwa Kishenyi told Principal Resident Magistrate Wilbard Mashauri at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday when the case came for mention that the prosecution's case file is with the DPP for reviewing of evidence so far gathered on the matter.

"Under such circumstances, your honour, investigations into the matter are still incomplete and I request for another mention date," the prosecutor submitted. He was reacting to a request by advocate Alex Mgongolwa, for the accused persons, who wanted to know the status of investigations.

The magistrate granted the prosecution's request and adjourned the trial for mention to January 19. Lawyers say that three things could happen when the prosecution's case file is taken to the DPP. He may draw new charges for prosecution of accused persons depending on the presented evidence to him.

Furthermore, the DPP could either enter nolle prosequi certificate in favour of the accused persons if the evidence brought before him was insufficient to mount their prosecution, or return the case file to the investigative machinery with directives of carrying out further investigations on some aspects.

Nolle prosequi is a legal term of art and a Latin legal phrase meaning "be unwilling to pursue", a phrase amounting to "do not prosecute". It is a phrase used in many common law criminal prosecution contexts, a prosecutor's decision to voluntarily discontinue criminal charges before trial or verdict is rendered.

Other prominent figures facing the criminal charges in the trial are former Managing Director with Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB), Peter Noni, Managing Director of Six Telecoms Company Limited, Hafidh Shamte, alias Rashid Shamte and Noel Chacha, the Company's Chief Finance Officer.

They have been charged in the case jointly with Six Telecoms Company Limited on account of their positions in the company. Apart from Shamte and Chacha, the charge sheet indicates that Dr Tenga and Dr Noni are also directors of the tier one provider of integrated telecommunications Services Company.

The prosecution alleges that the accused persons committed the offences on different dates between January 2014 and January 2016, within the city and region of Dar es Salaam. It is alleged that in order to obtain a financial or personal gain, the accused persons fraudulently under charged International Incoming Telecommunication Traffic at a rate below the minimum rate of 0.25 US dollars cents per minute.

The prosecution alleges that within the same period, on account of their respective positions in the company, fraudulently and with intent to avoid payments, the accused persons failed to pay to TCRA revenue amounting to 3,282,741.12 US dollars.

It is alleged further that being officials with the company, the accused persons and the company failed to pay regulatory fees amounting to 466,010.07 US dollars to TCRA. The prosecution alleged also that by their willful act, the accused caused TCRA to suffer a pecuniary loss of 3,748,751.22 US dollars.

On money laundering charges, the prosecution alleged that between January 2014 and January 2016 in the city, the accused persons acquired, used or administered money amounting to 3,282,741.12 US dollars, while knowing or ought to know that the money was proceeds of predicate offence of fraud.

The prosecution alleges further that within the same time, Six Telecoms Company Limited used or administered money amounting to 3,282,741.12 US dollars, while knowing or ought to know that the money was proceeds of predicate offence of fraud and other related offences.

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