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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ex-TRA chief, two others arraigned over $600m Stanbic Bank loan scam

Former Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Commissioner General 
Harry Kitilya (C) with two of his co-accused, Sioi Sumari and Shose Sinare (R)

Former Commissioner General of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Harry Msamire Kitilya, and two former Stanbic Bank employees, yesterday appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrates’ Court charged with eight counts including conspiracy, forgery, money laundering and obtaining $6million (about Sh12billion) by false pretences.
 
Kitilya was arraigned along with Shose Mori Sinare and Sioi Graham Solomon, both former Stanbic Bank Tanzania Ltd employees.
 
The prosecution, led by Principal State Attorney Oswald Tibabyekomya, alleged before Principal  Resident Magistrate Emmilius Mchauru  that on diverse dates between August 2012 and March 2013 in Dar es Salaam the accused, together with other people not in court, conspired to obtain money by false pretences from the government of Tanzania.It was alleged that on August 2012 at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Ltd headquarters in Dar es Salaam, Sinare, with intent to deceive, made a false Standard Bank financing proposal dated August 2, 2012 purporting to show that Standard Bank London, in collaboration with Stanbic Bank Tanzania Ltd, would raise a loan amounting to $550,000,000 for the government of Tanzania at a facilitation fee of 2.4 per cent of the principal amount, which she knew to be false.
 
It was further alleged that on September 20, 2012 at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Ltd headquarters, Sinare, with intent to deceive, made a false mandate letter for a proposed offer of $550m financing dated September 20, 2012 purporting to show that Standard Bank Plc, in collaboration with Stanbic Bank of Tanzania Ltd, would raise the $550m loan for the government of Tanzania.
 
The prosecution further alleged that Sinare would have facilitated the deal by engaging as a lead manager with a facilitation fee of 2.4 per cent of the principal amount, which she knew to be false.
 
On August 21, 2012 at the Ministry of Finance offices, Sinare fraudulently uttered a false mandate letter for the proposed offer of $550m, said the prosecution.
 
The sixth count, for all the accused persons , alleged that in November 2012 at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Ltd main office the accused, with intent to deceive, made a false collaboration agreement dated November 5, 2012 purporting to show that Stanbic Bank Tanzania Ltd had established a consortium to collaborate with Enterprises Growth Market Advisors (EGMA) Ltd to arrange for financing the said $550m to the government of Tanzania under which terms EGMA would arrange for negotiation and meetings involving the financing to the government, review finance documents and facilitate the provision of relevant documents or approvals that would be required by relevant Tanzania authorities, which they knew to be false.
 
The seventh count alleged that on diverse dates in March 2013, all the accused, with intent to defraud, obtained from the government of Tanzania $6m by falsely pretending that the said money was a facilitation fee payable to EGMA for facilitating, together with Stanbic Bank Tanzania, a $600m loan to the government.
 
The eighth count was on money laundering in which the prosecution alleged that  on diverse dates between March 2013 and September 2015 the accused directly engaged themselves in a transaction involving $6m by transferring, withdrawing and depositing the money relating to that transaction in bank account numbers 0240026633702, 0240026633701 and 9120001251935 maintained by EGMA at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited, and bank account numbers 3300605539 and 3300603692 maintained by EGMA at KCB Bank Limited, while they ought to have known that the said money was proceeds of forgery.
 
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded until April 6, this year, when their case comes up for ruling on bail application.
 
 However, cases involving money laundering are not bailable. In another development, PCCB yesterday arraigned Sumve MP, Richard Mganga Ndassa, for soliciting a Sh30 million bribe from the chief executive officer of Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), Felchesmi Mramba.
 
The arraignment of Ndassa brings to four the number of MPs from the ruling party who have been charged in court by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) for soliciting bribes. On Thursday, the anti-corruption watchdog charged three MPs - Suleiman Ahmed Saddiq, Kangi Lugola and Victor Mwambalaswa - with soliciting a bribe totaling Sh30 million.
PCCB prosecutors Dennis Lekayo and Emmanuel Jacob told the court that Ndassa had asked for a Sh30million bribe from Mramba.
 
The prosecutors said the MP had promised the Tanesco boss that he would have helped him in convincing other MPs on his committee to approve the firm’s accounts for financial year 2015/2016 without discussing its contents.
 
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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