THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday ordered Turkish Yetkin Mehmet, a logistics officer with Yapi Markezi Company, which is carrying out Standard Gauge Railways Project, to pay 100m/- fine after he was convicted of failure to declare US 86,850 dollars.
Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba convicted the 54-year-old manager on his own plea of guilty to the charge committed at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Ilala District on February 13, 2020 and ordered the confiscation into government property the foreign money.
Before being sentenced, the prosecution, led by Principal State Attorney Shadrack Kimaro and Senior State Attorneys Wankyo Simon and Mkunde Mshanga, asked the court to punish the convict according to the law, though they had no previous criminal records involving him.
On the other hand, advocate Augustine Shio, for the convict, requested the court to provide his client lenient sentence because he is the first offender and that he was highly depended on executing the Standard Gauge Project.
Presenting facts of the case, the prosecution told the court that Mehmet, a Turkish Citizen is currently employed by Yapi Markezi, a company which is constructing Standard Gauge Railway in Tanzania and he is a Logistic Manager, residing at Ilala District in the City.
On February 13, 2020, the manager was travelling to Istanbul, Turkey by Turkish Airlines and he had an electronic ticket, while carrying with him a handbag, according to the prosecution.
At the airport, the Julius Nyerere International Terminal III, the accused person went through all the procedures for checking in.
Though he was carrying with him the amount of money exceeding the threshold for declaration, he did not declare.
While he was at the departure lounge ready to board the plane, the police officers, acting on information from their informer, apprehended the accused person. Upon searching his handbag he was found in possession of a huge amount of United States dollars currency to the tune of 84,850 US dollars.
This led to the seizure of the said handbag. The seizure note was filled in and the accused person was also arrested. The money he was arrested with was deposited in a bank account held at National Microfinance Bank Plc in the name of Financial Intelligence Unit.
As a matter of requirement, the accused person was supposed to declare the currency he was carrying before leaving the United Republic of Tanzania as prescribed by the law.
In the strength of such facts, the accused person was arraigned to face the charge of failure to declare currency.
Such offence is contrary to Regulation 5 (1) and 5 of the Anti-Money Laundering (Cross-Border Declaration of currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments) Regulations, 2016 read together with section 28B of the Anti-Money Laundering Act No 12 of 2016, as amended.
Yapı Merkezi is a company whose field of activity is mainly in the construction industry. Yapı Merkezi Construction and Industry has realised the design and construction of a wide variety of buildings, rail systems and heavy construction projects.