TWO businessmen appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam charged with several counts of fraud relating to evading payments of over 5.57bn/- tax to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
They are Ike Geofrey, alias Maliki and Abdi Musa, alias Hamadi.
The charges against them include leading organised crime, forgery, impersonation, fraudulent evasion of tax, failure to pay tax, occasioning loss to a specified authority and money laundering.
Before Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba, the duo was not allowed to enter plea to the charges because the case against them has been filed under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act.
The magistrate informed the accused persons that his court lacked jurisdiction to entertain anything, including the question of bail.
Under the circumstances, the accused persons were ordered to remain in remand and the case was adjourned to August 12, 2020, for mention, as investigations are incomplete.
It is alleged by the prosecution led by Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon and State Attorney Silivia Mitanto that between July 31, 2019 and April 16, 2020 in Dar es Salaam, jointly and together, the two accused persons intentionally organised a criminal racket of fraudulent evasion and failure to pay tax.
The court heard that on May 3, 2019 in the city, with intent to defraud, Geofrey forged a signature of one Mahamood Warsame, purporting to show that it was a genuine signature of him, a fact which he knew to be untrue.
It is alleged that on the same day and with intent to defraud, Geofrey falsely represented himself as Mahamood Warsame to one Faustina Abbas Seki, alias Fauziat Abbas, alias Seki, while it was false.
The prosecution alleged that between July 31, 2019 and April 16, 2020 in Dar es Salaam with intent to defraud and evade tax payments, Musa used Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) not in his business name and thereby evading payments of 136,947,481/-as tax and duties payable to TRA.
It is alleged that within the same period in the city, with intent to defraud, Musa used two EFD machines not in his name and failed to pay tax amounting to 5,397,431,501/- being Value Added Tax (VAT) payable to the Authority.
The prosecution told the court further that between July 31, 2019 and April 16, 2020 in Dar es Salaam, by his willful acts of using the EFD machines in question, Mussa caused the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to suffer a pecuniary loss of the said sum of money.
Within the same period in the city, by his act of purchasing EFD machines not in his name, Geofrey allegedly caused the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to suffer pecuniary loss of 5,571,205,189/-.
The two accused persons were jointly charged with one count of money laundering, in that within the same period in the city, they acquired the said amount while knowing or ought to have known that the amount was proceeds of predicate offence of fraudulent evasion of tax.