A PROMINENT Businessman in Tanzania, Shabani Hussein (44), alias Ndama mtoto wa Ng’ombe, has for the third time pleaded guilty to the same charges of money laundering, involving up to 1.8bn/-.
On two previous occasions, he did the same, only to backtrack by subsequently denying the facts at the preliminary hearing stage. The money laundering charge is among six counts that the suspect is facing at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam.
According to Section 12 (a) and 13 (1) (a) of the Money Laundering Act No 12 of 2016, if the accused is found guilty, he is likely to face a jail sentence of not less than five years and not exceeding 10 years.
Another option is a fine of not less than 100m/- but not exceeding 500m/-.
Earlier, State Attorney Estazia Wilson informed the court that the case came up for mention when the accused asked to be reminded of the charges he is facing before Resident Magistrate Victoria Nongwa.
After the prosecutor went through the charges, Hussein pleaded guilty to the sixth count and denied the rest. During the previous sessions, the defence led by Advocate Jeremiah Ntobesya, requested the prosecution to amend the charge sheet, arguing that they had some irregularities.
The charge sheet was amended and read to the accused person. He pleaded guilty, but when the case appeared for preliminary hearing, he disputed the facts.
It was alleged that on February 20, 2014 in the city, with intent to defraud, the accused person made a false export permit for minerals and samples of minerals.
He allegedly purported to show that a company called Muru Platinum Tanzania Investment Company Limited was permitted to export four boxes of gold nuggets weighing 207kg, valued at 8,280,000 US dollars to a company based in Australia, known as Trade TJL DTYL Limited, while it was untrue.
It is alleged that on March 6, 2014, in the city, Hussein forged a certificate of clearance from the UN Dar es Salaam Office purporting to show that 207kg of the minerals from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were intended for export by Muru company to Trade TJL Limited, after being cleared of criminality.
On February 20, 2014, the accused person allegedly made a customs declaration form purporting that Muru Company had paid 331,200 US dollars as importation tax to Tanzania Revenue Authority for the said minerals at 8,280,000 US dollars imported from DRC, while it was false.
The prosecution told the court further that on the same day in the city, Hussein forged insurance cover from Phoenix of Tanzania Assurance Company Limited, showing that Muru Company had insured the four boxes containing the minerals.
Between February 26 and March 3, 2014, in Dar es Salaam, with intent to defraud, the businessman allegedly obtained from Trade TJL Limited 540,390 US dollars by falsely pretending that he would supply and export the 207kg of the said minerals valued at 8,280,000 US dollars.
The prosecution alleged further that within the same period, Hussein directly engaged himself in a transaction involving money, the sum of 540,390 US dollars, which were proceeds of predicate offence of obtaining money by false pretence.
According to the prosecution, the accused person is alleged to have directed the money to be credited in a bank account held at Stanbic Bank in the name of Muru Platinum Tanzania Investment Company Limited and subsequently withdrawing the sum in cash.
Magistrate Nongwa adjourned the case to July 9, this year when it will come for the preliminary hearing.