THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam has ordered two Kenyan women and two Tanzanians to compensate the government over 16m/- for causing loss to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).
Senior Resident Magistrate Yusto Ruboroga gave such order against Beth Ngunyi (43) and Florence Dirangu (34), both Kenyans and Qlven Swai (26) and Godluck Macha (28), both Tanzanian businessmen after convicting them of the offence.
The magistrate also sentenced the two Kenyans from Nairobi to pay 500,000/- each for living in the country illegally.
In addition to such punishment, the court also confiscated into government properties some electronic equipment which were used in committing offences.
Among such equipment includes two laptop computers, two machines for connecting internet and over 50 sim card lines.
The four convicts managed to pay the fine and the compensation imposed on them and were subsequently freed from custody.
Before their convictions, the four people wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), seeking his intervention to end the criminal trial they were facing under plea bargaining agreement.
The DPP, having accepted their request, decided to drop some of the charges they were facing.
On August 7, 2020 when they were arraigned for the first time, the four were charged with several economic counts relating to fraudulent use of communication network and occasioning loss to the government.
Other counts included conspiracy to commit an offence, operating electronic communications without a licence, use of unapproved electronic equipments, importation and installation of electronic communication equipment without a licence and use of unapproved electronic equipment.
The rest are unlawful presence in Tanzania, for the Kenyans and habouring illegal person, for Tanzanians.
It was alleged that between July 1 and 26, 2020 at various places within and outside Tanzania, jointly and together, all accused persons conspired to commit an offence of fraudulent use of network facilities.
It was alleged that on July 13, 2020 at Tarakea area in Rombo District in Kilimanjaro Region, the Kenyans imported into Tanzania some electronic communication equipment, which are two Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Gateway Model E-Join Technology black in colour having eight channels.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons committed such offence without having a licence issued by Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).
Between July 20 and 26, 2020 at Kibona Lodge in Mbezi Beach area within Kinondoni District in Dar es Salaam, all accused persons allegedly installed and unlawfully operated the said equipment without licence of the Authority.
The court was told that within the same period and place in the city, all the accused persons unlawfully connected to electronic communication network service for the purpose of receiving and transmitting electronic communication signals without approval from TCRA.
Within the same period at the lodge in Mbezi Beach area within Kinondoni District in Dar es Salaam, with intent to avoid rates payable for receiving or transmitting international incoming traffic, all accused persons allegedly dishonestly transmitted communication by terminating international incoming traffic.
The prosecution further told the court that on July 13, 2020 at Kibona Lodge, Mbezi Beach area in Kinondoni District, the two Kenyans who are not citizens of Tanzania, were found unlawfully present in the United Republic of Tanzania.
It was alleged that on July 15, 2020 at the lodge, the two Tanzanians unlawfully sheltered Beth Ngunyi and Florence Dirangu in the United Republic of Tanzania knowingly they have committed an offence of unlawful presence in the country.
Between July 20 and 26, 2020 at Kibona Lodge in Mbezi beach area within Kinondoni District in the city, by their willful acts, all four accused persons caused the government of Tanzania and TCRA to suffer a pecuniary loss of 16,634,400/-.