Tanzania: Four People Indicted On Fraudulent Transfer of Over 5bn/-

FOUR people, Chrispin Mwombeki, Deus Mpapi, Joseph Nyamwero and Hadija Seif, appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrates' Court in Dar es Salaam last Friday facing 74 economic charges relating to fraudulent transfer of road construction funds amounting to over 5bn/-.

The charges against them include leading an organised crime, forgery, obtaining money and goods by false pretences, money laundering and occasioning loss of 5,383,918,553/41 to Mwananchi Engineering and Construction Company (Mecco) Limited.

Before Senior Resident Magistrate Rashid Chaungu the accused persons entered a plea and denied all the charges after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) issued a certificate, consenting to the lower court to hear such an economic case.

The magistrate ordered them to remain in remand until March 12, 2021, as the offence of money laundering is not bailable. Investigations into the matter, according to the prosecution led by state attorneys Faraji Nguka and Yusuph Aboud, have not been completed.

Defence counsel Paschal Kamala, Adronicus Byamungu and Queen Ntovu asked the court to give them the copies of the charge sheet so that they could discuss with their clients on, among other things, the way forward and the validity of the charges.

It is alleged by the prosecution that on diverse dates between November 2011 and December 2017 within Mainland and Zanzibar, jointly and together, all accused persons organised a criminal racket.

The accused persons allegedly approved and made transactions from Mecco Bank accounts to the other accounts belonging to Legram Ltd, Civmark Ltd and a personal account at CRDB Bank in the name of Marry Odemary Nguma for purpose of obtaining money by false pretences.

Between March 2015 and July 2017 within Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, jointly and together, by false pretences and with intent to defraud, Mwombeki and Mpapi obtained funds transferred from Mecco to different accounts totalling 3,454,669,175/-.

The prosecution told the court that the accused persons purported to show that the amount of money was for enabling Mecco to implement road projects, which they knew to be false.

On money laundering, the two accused persons are alleged within the period and places to have directly withdrawn the money related to the transactions, which was not for the purpose of road construction projects, but the proceeds of a predicate offence of stealing.

It is alleged that between May 2016 and November 2017 within Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, jointly and together, by false pretences and with intent to defraud, Mwombeki, Nyamwero and Seif obtained funds transferred from Mecco accounts totalling 779,490,000/-.

The prosecution told the court that the accused persons purported to show that the amount of money was for enabling Mecco to implement the projects for the construction of roads, which they knew to be false.

On money laundering, the three accused persons are alleged within the period and places to have directly withdrawn the money related to the transactions, which was not for the purpose of road construction projects, but proceeds of a predicate offence of stealing.

The prosecution alleged that on October 10, 2014 within Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, jointly and together, by false pretences and with intent to defraud, Mwombeki and Mpapi obtained 20m/- through a direct cash withdrawal from Mecco accounts using two cheques.

According to the prosecution, the cheques were in the name of Legram Ltd, purporting to show that the money was for enabling Mecco to implement road projects, while it was untrue.

Between November 2011 and December 2017 within Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, jointly and together, by false pretences and with intent to defraud, Mwombeki and Nyamwero obtained goods transferred from Mecco Company to Legram Ltd.

Such goods, according to the prosecution, are two graders of Komatsu and caterpillar make, one caterpillar roller, one Volvo tipping truck, two Merlo concrete mixers, laboratory equipment, surveyor equipment, two generators and a ballon for culverts.

It is alleged that such goods were worth 870.2m/- and the accused persons purported to show that they were for enabling Mecco to implement road projects, which they knew to be false.

On money laundering, the two accused persons are alleged within the period and places to have directly transferred the goods from Mecco Company to Legram Ltd, while they knew that the money acquired after the purchase of goods was the proceeds of theft.

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