TWO Chinese nationals yesterday got out of economic cases’ hook when they paid 60m/-to the government for unlawful dealing in trophies, while six others, including “Mpemba wa Magufuli” responded to the presidential amnesty by seeking forgiveness in a similar trial.
Li Ling Ling and Cheng Guo entered into a plea-bargaining agreement with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam after they had written letters, expressing their wishes to admit to the charges they were facing.
Acting on the amnesty granted by President John Magufuli recently to persons charged with economic cases, the DPP positively acted on the letter and filed new charges against the two, who were charged alongside four senior security officers with the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA).
Such officers, who have not sought for any forgiveness in the matter, are Clemence Jingu Mbaruck (46), who is the Security Manager, Emmanuel Nyambele Nsanganiye (54), Salum Seif Mnyones (33) and Albadri Habibu Mshana (31).
The two Chinese pleaded guilty to the new charges read against them by State Attorney Salim Msemo.
After presenting the case’s facts, Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi convicted them on their own plea of guilty and sentenced them to pay two times the value of the trophies involved.
In addition, the magistrate confiscated to the government properties one motor vehicle, aToyota Prado owned by Ling Ling and two machines that were used by the duo in cutting and polishing the government trophies.
The prosecution had told the court that on July 5, 2015, at Julius Nyerere International Airport area in Temeke District. Ling Ling exported 35 lion claws, which are government trophies, valued at 9,000 US dollars, equivalent to 22.5m/-.
On the same day and place, the prosecution alleged that Guo exported 21 lion teeth valued at 4,500 US dollars, equivalent to 12.5m/-.
The two accused committed the offences without a trophy export certificate or a CITES permit from the Director of the Wildlife Division.
In a similar case before Principal Resident Thomas Simba, Yusuf Ali, alias ‘Mpemba wa Magufuli’ and his co-accused persons, informed the court that they have written letters to the DPP with a view of entering into a plea-bargaining agreement with the DPP to accelerate the trial.
Others are Charles Mahungo Mrutu, alias Mangi Mapikipiki, alias Mangi, Benedict Vintus Kungwa, Jumanne Ramadhani Chima, alias Jizzo, alias JK, Ahmed Ambari Nyagongo and Pius Vincent Kulagwa .
They are charged with dealing in elephant tusks, which are government trophies, valued at 785.6m/-.
The prosecution told the court that between January 2014 and October 2016 at diverse places within Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Iringa, Tanga and Mtwara Regions, jointly and together with other persons not in court, the accused persons allegedly organized and furthered the objectives of criminal racket.
They are claimed to have acquired, possessed and sold 50 pieces of elephant tusks, which are government trophies, valued at 180,000 US dollars (about 392,817,600/-), the property of United Republic of Tanzania.
The prosecution alleged that on October 26, this year, at Mbagala Zakhem area in Temeke District, all accused persons were found in possession of ten pieces of elephant tusks weighing 13.85kg valued at 30,000 US dollars (65,469,600/-), the property of the government without a permit.
It is alleged that on October 27, this year, at Tabata Kisukulu area in Ilala District in the city, the accused persons were found with four pieces of elephant tusks weighing 11.1kg valued at 15,000 US dollars (32,734,800/-), without a permit from the Director of Wildlife.
The court heard further that on October 29, this year, at Tabata Kisukulu area in Ilala District, the accused persons were found with 36 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 58.55kg valued at 135,000/- (294,613,200/-), the property of the government without any permit from relevant authorities.