THREE senior officers with UDA Rapid Transit Limited (UDART) and a Chinese Engineer appeared before a Dar es Salaam court yesterday, charged with 19 counts, including money laundering.
Before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court, the prosecution accused UDART Directors, Robert Kisena and Kulwa Kisena, an Accountant Charles Newe and Longway Engineering Company Limited’s Engineer and Director Chen Shi of fraud, leading organised crime, money laundering and occasioning loss of over 2.4bn/-.
The accused were not allowed to enter any plea to the charges, which fall under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act.
Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba adjourned the case to February 25, 2019, for another mention, as investigations into the case, according to the prosecution, have not been completed. He ordered the accused to remand for money laundering offence is not bailable.
The prosecution, led by State Attorneys Ester Martin and George Barasa, as well as two officers from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Moza Kasubi and Imani Mizizi, told the court that the accused committed the offences between January 1, 2011 and May 31, 2018.
It is alleged that within the same period in Dar es Salaam, all accused with others not in court, organised the criminal racket. The court heard that Robert, Kulwa and Newe allegedly stole fuel valued at 1,216,145,374/10, the property of UDART.
On money laundering, the three accused were alleged to have converted the fuel into money and selling the petroleum products and subsequently acquiring the amount between May 25, 2015 and December 31, 2016 in the city.
The prosecution alleged that at the time of the transactions, the accused knew that the fuel and the money were proceeds of a predicate theft offence.
The court heard that on October 20, 2012 in Dar es Salaam, with intent to defraud, Robert and Shi forged extract board resolution and list of shareholders, purporting to show that members of Longway Engineering Company Limited resolved to open current account with KCB Bank Tanzania Limited.
According to the prosecution, the accused also pretended that they were shareholders of the company and had authorised the opening of the bank account while it was false. It is alleged that on the same day the accused uttered the two documents at the bank.
Between April 6 and May 26, 2016 at NMB Bank PLC, Bank House Branch in Ilala District, with intent to defraud, Robert allegedly forged two fund transfer request forms, showing that 1,344,925,000/- was paid to the company.
The payment was allegedly for manufacture of cabinets and backup power and its equipment and civil works at installation and construction of terminal fences at Kimara, Ferry (Kivukoni), Ubungo and Morocco Stations of the Rapid Bus Transport (BRT).
He is also alleged to have knowingly and fraudulently tendered the documents at the bank on the same day. On June 8, 2016 at the bank, by false pretense and with intent to defraud, Robert and Shi allegedly obtained 1,198,180,886/58 from UDART, purporting to show that the amount was genuine payment to Longway firm.
The two accused were further charged that within the same period, being directors of the Longway company with Robert being UDART director, for the purpose of concealing the illicit origin, they transferred the money from the bank account.
The bank account, the prosecution alleged, is maintained by Shirika la Usafiri Dar es Salaam-DART Project. It is alleged that the money was transferred to another account maintained by the Longway Company at KCB Bank, Oysterbay Branch, before the accused withdrew the money in cash.
The accused, according to the prosecution, knew that the money was forgery proceeds. The prosecution alleged that between May 25, 2015 and December 31, 2016 in Dar es Salaam, by their willful acts, Robert, Kulwa, Newe and Shi caused UDART to suffer a pecuniary loss of 2,414,326,260/70.
The Kisena brothers were also charged with two separate counts of constructing petroleum installation without approval and selling petroleum in unauthorised premises. The offences are alleged to have been committed between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017 at Jangwani Area in Ilala District.
The court was told that as directors of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited, Robert and Kulwa constructed the petroleum installation infrastructure—the Petroleum Filling Station—without approval of the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority.