Tanzania: Pay the Fine or Go to Jail, Court Tells Bus Owner

THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday sentenced Princes Muro Buses' owner, Majid Abdallah Kimaro, alias Muro, to eight years imprisonment or pay 115m/- fine for leading organised crime and money laundering in a criminal racket involving 26,875.52 litres of fuel.

Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba imposed such sentence to the businessman after convicting him on his own plea of guilty to the two counts.

He ordered the convict to either pay 5m/- or go to jail for three year on the offence of leading organised crime.

The magistrate further punished the businessman to either pay 110m/- or remain behind bars for five years for money laundering in the transaction involving the said litres of fuel, property of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA).

Furthermore, the magistrate ordered the confiscation of a Scania lorry that was used to facilitate the commission of the offences.

He took such path after considering the aggregating factors presented by the prosecution, led by State Attorneys Wankyo Simon, Jacqueline Nyatori and Patrick Mwita.

Earlier, the prosecution had requested the court to severely punish the convicted businessman because the offences committed were very serious as they had an adverse impact in the country's economy and collection of the nation's revenue.

When presenting the mitigating factors, however, Advocate Jacqueline Rwakabwa, for the businessman, had beseeched the court to be lenient to her client because he has served the court's time, resources and other inconveniences after pleading guilty to the offences.

She submitted that her client was sick and that he has several people behind him who depend on him on a number of necessities.

The magistrate said he had taken into consideration all the submissions presented by the parties before imposing the sentences against the convict.

The prosecution had told the court that Kimaro committed the offences on diverse dates between July 1, 2016 and January 8, 2018 within Kigamboni district in the Commercial City of Dar es Salaam. Knowingly with other people not in court, the businessman financed a criminal racket with intent to further the objectives of perforating the TPA's pipeline and steal fuel in order to reap profit.

The prosecution claimed that within the same period and places, the businessman received and administered 15,950.3 litres of diesel and other 10,925.22 litres of petrol and distributed the same to his petrol stations.

Thereafter, according to the prosecution, Kimaro sold the fuel to various persons, while he knew at the time of receiving and administering of the petroleum products that they were proceeds of a predicate offence of leading organized crime.

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