Five businessmen appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday charged with 199 counts of forgery, uttering false documents, money laundering, occasioning loss to a specified authority and evading tax to the tune of over 15bn/-.
They are Mohamed Mustafa Yusufali, alias Mohamedali, alias Choma, alias Jamalii, Alloyscious Gonzaga Mandago, Isaack Wilfred Kasanga, Taherali Sujjauddin Taherali and Mohamed Seif Kabula. They are represented by four Dar es Salaam advocates — Mr Richard Rweyongeza, Michael Ngalo, Hudson Ndusyepo and Martin Rwehumbiza.
The accused persons were not allowed to enter plea to the charges before Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi because they have been charged under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act.
They were remanded until July 26, when the case will be mentioned, as investigations, according to the prosecution led by Principal State Attorney Pius Shilla, Senior State Attorney Shadrack Kimaro and an officer from Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Leonard Swai, were incomplete.
In the case, Mohamed Mustafa Yusufali is facing a total of 196 counts alone, while the remaining accused persons are facing three counts each. They are alleged to have committed the offences at different times between 1995 and 2016 in the city.
The prosecution told the court that the accused persons forged several certificates of incorporation for about 17 different companies, with 15 among them for Yusufali alone, showing that such companies are limited companies legally incorporated in Tanzania, while it was untrue.
The prosecution alleged that between January 2008 and January 2016 in Dar es Salaam, being the director responsible for the management of affairs of his company, Farm Plant Limited, with a view to fraudulently evade tax, Yusufali submitted false return to the Commissioner of Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
As a result, according to the prosecution, Yusufali evaded Value Added Tax (VAT) amounting to 15,645,944,361/-.
It is alleged further that within the same period in the city, by reason of his wilful acts of making and submitting false returns to the TRA Commissioner General, Yusufali caused the government to suffer a pecuniary loss of 15,645,944,361/-, which ought to have been paid as VAT.
The prosecution told the court that knowingly and fraudulently, Yusufali uttered to the TRA, Kinondoni Tax Region Office, the certificates for 15 companies to show that they were limited companies registered as taxpayers.
The court heard further that on diverse period in the city, with intent to defraud, Yusufali made several tax invoices bearing different numbers and value added tax returns to show that Farm Plant Limited purchased from Blue Arrow Tanzania Limited, commodities worth billions of shillings. All the accused persons were charged with an offence of money laundering allegedly committed between March 2011 and January 2016 in Dar es Salaam.
Being persons responsible with management and operations of Superior Financing Solution Limited, the accused persons allegedly concealed establishment of the true nature, source and movement of money amounting to 1,895,885,000/-.
The prosecution alleged that the accused persons advanced the said amount as loans to various persons and receiving repayments. It added that they did so while at the time of advancing and receiving such repayments they knew or ought to have known that money was proceeds of predicate offences of forgery and tax evasion.
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