BUSINESSMAN Tariq Machibya fondly known as Mr Kuku appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday charged with seven counts of conducting and managing pyramid scheme, money laundering and accepting deposits from the general public without license amounting to 17bn/-.
The accused person was not allowed to enter plea to the charges before Senior Resident Magistrate in Charge Godfrey Isaya because they fall under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act. The magistrate informed him that his court lacked jurisdiction to entertain anything including bail issue.
According to the magistrate, the case will be tried by the High Court's Corruption and Economic Crime Division upon conclusion of the investigations and that the offences of money laundering under which the accused person stand charged are not bailable.
The case was adjourned to August 24, 2020 for mention, as investigations into the matter, according to the prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon, have not been completed.
Prosecuting, the trial attorney told the court that on diverse dates between January 2018 and May 2020 at various places within the city of Dar es Salaam, Machibya conducted and managed a pyramid scheme by collecting money from the public.
It is alleged that the accused person promised the people that such money would be invested in poultry farming project and individuals, who invested in it would be entitled to receive interest of 70 per cent of the initial capital for the sum invested for four months.
According to the prosecution, the person in the alleged investment would further get another 90 per cent of the initial capital for the money invested for six months, the sum of money, which given all commercial considerations is greater than the money or return on the investment of money collected.
The court heard that within the same period and places in Dar es Salaam, the accused person accepted deposits amounting to 17bn/- from the public without licence. Machibya was also charged with five counts of money laundering relating to different transactions.
It is alleged that between April 26, 2019 and January 26, 2020 at various places in the city, he directly engaged in transaction involving property, which is 6,477,297,614/83 by withdrawing the sum from a bank account held at CRDB bank in the name of Mr Kuku.
The prosecution alleged that between January 17 and March 30, 2020 at various places in Dar es Salaam, the accused person engaged in transaction involving 629,249,576/36 by withdrawing the amount from his bank account held at CRDB Bank.
It is alleged that between March 5 and April 17, 2020 in the city, Machibya engaged in a transaction involving 1,366,718,045/46 by withdrawing the money from a bank account held at the same bank in the name of Mr Kuku Farmers Limited.
On diverse dates between January 17 and 30, 2020 at CRDB Bank Viva Tower Branch within Kinondoni District in the commercial city of Dar es Salaam, the accused person directly allegedly involved in transaction involving 107,893.73 US dollars.
According to the prosecution, Machibya is alleged to have deposited such amount in his bank account he maintains at the bank. The court heard also that between March 3 and 30, 2020 at CRDB Bank Water Front in Ilala District, the businessman engaged in transaction involving 146,300 US dollars.
The prosecution alleged that the accused person deposited such sum in a bank account held in the name of Mr Kuku Farmers Limited with the CRDB Bank.
The prosecution alleged that in all such transactions, Machibya knew that the amount involved was proceeds of predicate offence of pyramid scheme.