THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday gave the prosecution ten days to rectify defects on the charge sheet in the trial of four Simba top leaders facing 600m/- fraud and money laundering charges.
Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba gave the prosecution two options of either amend the charge by dropping names of notably two businessmen, Zacharia Hans Poppe and Franklin Lauwo, who are absent or make substitution of the charge so that the hearing could proceed.
Hans Poppe is the club's Chairman of Registration Committee, while Lauwo is a contractor who had been undertaking construction of the club's play grounds at Bunju area within Kinondoni District in the outskirt of the city.
The court's decision was a result of complaint by the defence that hearing of the case was being delayed due to the non-appearance of the two businessmen, who were joined into trial in their absentia. "We cannot allow this to prevail.
The case must proceed for hearing," the magistrate said. In the case, the defence had pushed for the charges to be declared defective, alleging that it was wrong for the court to admit them while there other two accused persons, notably two businessmen, Zacharia Hans Poppe and Franklin Lauwo, who are absent. The prosecution, however, vehemently opposed the line of arguments submitted by the defence.
It maintains that the charges are proper and that the court had not erred in accepting the charges in absence of the two accused persons. Other accused persons in the matter are Simba's President Evans Aveva and his Vice-President Geoffrey Nyange. The accused persons face a total of ten counts including that of conspiracy, abuse of office, forgery, uttering false documents and money laundering.
The prosecution alleges that on diverse dates between March 10 and 16, 2016 in the city, Aveva and Nyange conspired to commit an offence of abuse of office. It is alleged that the duo abused their positions by preparing a transfer of funds request form dated March 15, 2016 and transferring 300,000 US dollars from account of the Club held at CRDB Bank Plc, Azikiwe Branch, to personal account of Aveva held at Barclays Bank, Ohio Branch.
Such preparation of the form, according to the prosecution, had the purpose of obtaining undue advantage for the two leaders of the club. It is alleged that the two leaders, with intent to defraud, forged the form in question purporting that the club was repaying the amount as loan to Aveva.
On March 15, 2016, knowingly and fraudulently, Aveva allegedly uttered the form at CRDB Bank, Azikiwe Branch in Ilala District. It is alleged that between March 10 and 16, 2016 in the city, Aveva committed money laundering offence by acquiring 187,817 US dollars from Barclays Bank.
The prosecution told the court that at the time of such acquisition, Aveva knew or ought to have known that the said money was proceeds of the predicate offence of forgery. Within the same period in Dar es Salaam, according to the prosecution, Nyange also committed money laundering offence by aiding and abetting Aveva to acquire the 187,817 US dollars from the Club, knowing the money was proceed of forgery as predicate offence.
The prosecution further alleged that between March 10 and May 30, 2016 in the city, with intent to defraud, Aveva, Nyange and Hans Poppe forced a commercial invoice dated May 28, 2016, purporting that the artificial turf bought by the Club was valued at 40,577 US dollars, while it was false.
It is alleged further that within the same period and place, knowingly and fraudulently, Aveva uttered to Levision Kasulwa the alleged false commercial invoice purporting, among others, that the club had bought the artificial turf from Nina GuangZhou Trading Company Limited at 40,577 US dollars.
The court heard also that between March 10 and September 30, 2016 in Dar es Salaam, the three accused persons made false statement purporting to show that the Club bought the artificial turf from Nina GuangZhou Trading Company Limited at the tune of 40,577 US dollars, while it was not true.
It is alleged that between March and September 2016 within the City of Dar es Salaam, Lauwo unlawfully carried on business as the contractor by constructing Simba's playground located at Bunju within Kinondoni Municipality while he was not registered.