TWO businesswomen, Magdalena Uhwello and Halima Nsubuga, yesterday appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam charged with conspiracy, managing and conducting a pyramid scheme and money laundering involving a sum of over 800m/-.
They denied the charges before Principal Resident Magistrate, Thomas Simba. Since the accused persons are facing money laundering, among the counts, the magistrate denied them bail, because the offence is not bailable.
The case was adjourned up to August 30, 2019 for mention.
Investigations into the matter, according to the prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney, Simon Wankyo have not been completed. Advocates; Peter Kibatala and Jeremia Ntobesya, for the accused, informed the court that they would file a formal notice with a view of challenging the validity of the charges.
The prosecution told the court that between April 1 and June 30, 2017 in Dar es Salaam, the two accused persons conspired together to commit an offence of managing and conducting a pyramid scheme.
It was alleged that within the same period and place, the accused conducted the pyramid scheme by collecting money from the public on promise that the individual, who contributed the money would receive a sum in return which, given all commercial consideration, is greater that the money collected.
The prosecution charged Magdalena and Halima with five counts of money laundering. They are accused of directly engaging themselves in a transaction involving a sum of 394,265 US dollars (over 800m/-).
According to the prosecution, the accused directed the sum of money to be credited in a bank account in the name of Magdalena and Halima at Equity Bank Tanzania Limited, while they knew or ought to have known that the money was proceeds of predicate offence of conducting a pyramid scheme.
The court heard that on April 22, 2017, for the purpose of concealing or disguising the origin of the collected sum, the accused persons transferred 12,309 US dollars to a bank account maintained at Equity Bank Uganda in the name of Smart Protus Magara.
It is claimed further that on April 24, 2017, the accused persons transferred 29,086 US dollars to a bank account maintained at Equity Bank Uganda in the name of Smart Protus Magara, while they knew that the money was proceeds of predicate offence of conducting a pyramid scheme.
On April 25, 2017, the accused persons transferred 58,743 US dollars to a bank account maintained at Equity Bank Uganda in the name of the same company, while knowing the money was proceed of conducting pyramid scheme, a predicate offence to money laundering.
The prosecution also told the court that on April 21, 2017, Magdalena and Halima transferred 83,718 US dollars to a bank account maintained at Equity Bank Uganda in the name of Smart Protus Magara while they knew that the money was proceeds of predicate offence of conducting a pyramid scheme.