Author: FAUSTINE KAPAMA
AfricaPress-Tanzania: TWO people, senior official with the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Japhet Jirori and advocate Arnold Temba, appeared before Mwanza Resident Magistrate’s Court in Mwanza yesterday, facing 94 economic related crimes, including money laundering and occasioning loss of over 8bn/-.
Temba, who is Managing Director with ELA Advocates and Mnengele & Associates Company and Jirori, the former Management Accounts Manager with TPA, were joined into the trial of eight other persons, who were arraigned in connection with the charges on June 12, 2020.
Other charges include leading organized crime, forgery of different documents, transferring the money in question, uttering false documents and stealing by public servants.
Before Resident Magistrate in Charge Monica Ndyekobora, the accused persons were not allowed to enter plea to the charge.
The magistrate ordered the accused persons to remain in remand because her court lacked jurisdiction to entertain anything, including the question of bail and that money laundering, as one of offences they are facing is not bailable under the law. She adjourned the case to July 9, 2020 for mention.
Investigations into the matter, according to the prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney Yamiko Mlekano, as well as prosecutors with Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Dorothea Kinyonto and Dismas Muganyizi, have not been completed.
Other accused persons are Deogratius Lema and Aike Mapuli, both former senior accountants at TPA head office, Marystella Minja, who was accounting officer at TPA Headquarters, Thomas Akile, former accountant at the Mwanza office and Ibrahim Lusato, the then assistant accountant at Mwanza Port.
The rest are Wendelin Tibuhwa, former cashier at Mwanza Harbour Centre, James Mbedule, former tax officer at Mwanza Port Station and Leocard Kipengele, a private advocate from Mnengele and Associates Company and ELA Advocates.
Prosecuting, the trial attorneys told the court that the accused persons committed the offences on diverse dates between February 2015 and February 2020 at the Tanzania Ports Authority offices in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza cities.
It is alleged that the accused persons, within the same period and places, furthered a criminal racket with a view of either reaping profit or obtaining benefits.
Within the same period, they allegedly forged and subsequently uttered to the offices some documents purportedly transferring the money.
It is alleged by the prosecution that within the same period and places in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, the accused persons stole a total sum of 8.3bn/-, the property of TPA.
The prosecution further alleged between February 2015 and February 2020 at the offices of TPA in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, knowingly and by their willful acts, the accused persons caused the Authority to suffer a pecuniary loss of the said amount of money.
On money laundering, the prosecution charges the accused of acquiring the money while knowing at the time of such acquisition that the amount was proceeds of predicate offence to the money laundering.
Earlier yesterday, the PCCB issued a notice signed by the Public Relations Officer, Ms Doreen Kapwani, informing the public that they were still looking for Dar es Salaam based businessman Chrispin Iranque, who is also suspected of involvement in allegedly defrauding the TPA.