Witness delays money laundering case

A MONEY laundering case facing seven people, who are charged with nine counts at Kisutu Magistrate Court has been delayed after the prosecution witness failed to appear before court.

The accused are Hassan Likwena (39), Bushiri Likwena, Oliver Mchuwa (35), Haidary Sharifu (44), Joyce Thomas (33), Hamis Abdalah (35) and Salama Mshamu (21), all residents of Dar es Salaam.

They are charged with buying, selling, possessing and transporting ivory worth over 4bn/- and two pieces of hippopotamus’ teeth valued at 3.4m/-.

State Attorney Ms Monica Ndakidemi informed Principal Resident Magistrate Evodia Kyaruzi when the case came for hearing, adding that unfortunately the witness didn’t show up before court on a particular date due to health problems.

The trial attorney, therefore, asked the court to adjourn the case to another date for hearing.

The magistrate granted the request and adjourned the case to August 29 this year.

According to the prosecution, it is alleged that the accused committed the offences on diverse dates at unknown places in the Coast and Mtwara regions between 2017 and 2019.

It is alleged that the accused number one, Hassan Likwena, on January 1, 2017 and September 2, 2019, in the Mtwara and Coast regions, joined a gang in selling, buying, possessing, and transporting 413 elephant tusks worth over 4bn/- without permits.

The prosecution claimed that the accused alleged that on January 1, 2017, and September 3, 2019, in the Dar es Salaam region, they received, sold and transported elephant tusks without a special permit while knowing that doing so was against the law.

The court heard that in the third count, all the accused are charged with being involved in government trophies, where it is alleged that on January 1 and 9, 2017, the defendants possessed two pieces of hippopotamus teeth worth 3.4m/- without permission, contrary to the Wildlife Conservation Act.

Similarly, it was alleged in the fourth and fifth counts that on September 3, 2019, the accused Saleh Shabani and his colleagues were found with two pieces of hippopotamus teeth in the Saku Chamazi areas.

The prosecution also informed the court that, in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth counts, the accused are charged with money laundering.

It was alleged that on January 1 and September 3, 2017, the accused Hassan Likwena at Kivule and the accused Abdala Hamis at Saku Mbagala illegally obtained vehicles (a Scania with registration number T431 BKM, a Toyota T197 ACG, and a Toyota Mark II T681 DFM) while knowing clearly that they were infringing the law.

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