Senior official with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Joachim Minde and Arusha-based businessman Kassim Said have been charged with two counts relating to export of elephant tusks valued at over 4.2bn/-
The 55-year old Minde alias Kennedy John Kimaro, who is TRA’s Customs Officer residing at Kinondoni Hananasif and 50-year old Said, alias Bedui, a resident of Arusha Masai Camp, were arraigned at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Before Principal Resident Magistrate Emilius Mchauru, they were accused of leading organised crimes and unlawful dealing in government trophies, the offences that fall under the Economic and Organised Control Act. They were not allowed to enter plea to the charges because the case will be tried by the High Court.
The case will be heard by the lower court upon securing consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Advocate Emanuel Mbega, for the accused, pressed for his clients’ bail.
However, the magistrate said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the application. As a result, the magistrate remanded the accused until October 10, when the case will be mentioned. Investigations into the matter, according to the prosecution, were incomplete.
State Attorney Salim Msemo told the court that the accused committed the offence on diverse dates between March 2013 and August 2015 in Dar es Salaam.
He alleged that the accused and others not in court, intentionally organised a criminal racket by acquiring, possessing and exporting from Tanzania to Hong Kong in China and Thailand some government trophies.
According to the prosecution, the trophies were 3,500 kilogrammes of elephant tusks valued at 1,925,000 US dollars, equivalent to 4,202,275,000/-, the property of the United Republic of Tanzania.