By Faustine Kapama
Businessman Emmanuel Gang'ai appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday charged with five counts of leading organised crime, money laundering and obtaining over 900m shillings by false pretences from foreigners in a mineral deal.
He was joined in the trial of five other prominent figures, including businessman Marijani Abubakar, alias Papaa Msofe, Advocate Mwesigwa Mhingo, Wenceslaus Mtui and Fadhil Mganga, both businessmen and Josephinie Haule, a businesswoman.
He was not allowed to enter plea to the charges because they fall under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act. Senior Resident Magistrate Godfrey Isaya informed him that his court lacked jurisdiction to entertain anything, including bail as the offence of money laundering is not bailable.
The proper court vested with jurisdiction to try the case in the Economic, Corruption and Organised Crime High Court's Division.
Under the circumstances, the magistrate ordered the accused persons to go to remand until January 13, 2020, when the case will be mentioned, as investigations are incomplete.
Prosecuting, Senior State Attorney Ladislaus Komanya told the court that on diverse dates between December 2018 and September 2019, jointly and together, all accused persons with others not in court intentionally organised a criminal racket.
It is alleged that within the same period, with intent to defraud, all accused persons obtained 300,000 US dollars, equivalent to 690m shilling from Hubert Paschal Jean Camille, a French national by falsely pretending that they will sell him 200kg of gold minerals and export them to Portugal, while it was false.
The court heard that within the same period of December 2018 and September 2019 in the city, the accused persons allegedly acquired the 300,000 US dollars from Camille, while knowing that the said amount was proceeds of predicate offence of obtaining money by false pretences.
Prosecuting attorney further told the court that within the same period in Dar es Salaam, by false pretences and with intent to defraud, all accused persons obtained 110,000 US dollars, equivalent to 253m shillings from John Mahsson, who is Swedish national.
According to the prosecution, Msoffe, Mhingo, Mtui, Mganga, Haule and Gang'ai pretended that they would sell to Mahsson 20kg of gold minerals and export the same to Portugal, the fact which to their knowledge was false.
It is alleged also that between December 2018 and September 2019 within the city of Dar es Salaam, all accused persons acquired the 110,000 US dollars from Mahsson, while knowing that the said money was proceeds of predicate offence of obtaining money by false pretences.
This article was originally published on The Daily News.