Monday, September 20, 2021

Botswana tech start-up in Tanzania’s money laundering trial

A Botswana tech-startup is implicated in a multi- million Pula money laundering trial in Tanzania. The Botswana company, Innovative Perspective owned by Emmanuel Oteng Motlhatlhedi is cited alongside Tanzanian businessman Ndama Hussein, alias “Mtoto wa Ng’ombe,” and his co-accused Yusuph Hussein who are facing

six charges of forging different documents, obtaining money by false pretences and money laundering in a deal involving minerals.

The charge sheet alleges that on or before January 21, 2020 in Dar es Salaam, with intent to defraud, the two Tanzanian accused persons forged Safe Keeping Receipt purporting to show that Lockfort Security Company Limited received and stored 100 kilograms of raw gold from Samwel Kabula.

The court heard that on or before March 5, 2020 in the city, the accused persons made a false Sale and Purchase Agreement between Cozac Logistics International Company Limited, a Tanzanian Company and Innovative Perspective, a Botswana Company.

The Botswana startup company was on the cusp of a major innovation breakthrough after coming up, last year, with technology to curb the theft of cellular phone handsets and laptops.

The 34-year-old Botswana’s budding entrepreneur told the local media last year that he established Innovative Tracking in December 2019. The company monitors and recovers stolen property such as cell phones, laptops, plasma televisions, vehicles as well as pets. ” We are using a software system and all you have to do is to register your goods with us and we will be able to know the location every time.

“I wanted to come up with solutions to theft cases because people are crying everyday from losing their gadgets, especially cell phones and laptops, and in most cases, it is always impossible to get their valuables back,” said Motlhatlhedi.

He said after studying the statistics of cell phone, laptops and plasma TV thefts from Botswana police and also being a victim, he was motivated to find a solution to the problem. “My phone, which was on post- paid contract in Orange, was stolen and they couldn’t help me, because they can only track a phone if it is in their network”, Motlhatlhedi told the Mmegi Monitor.

The Tanzanian money laundering case is expected to resume on May 26th. This was after Motlhatlhedi co-accused revoked their request to enter into plea bargaining agreement with the Tanzanian Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

According to reports by Tanzania Daily News, this was revealed last week Thursday at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam by Advocate Peter Madeleka, for the two Tanzanian accused persons, when the case came for mention.

He told Senior Resident Magistrate in Charge Godfrey Isaya that his clients had lost interest in ending the trial through a plea bargain.

“We have decided to file an application before the High Court to challenge the validity of the charges against the accused persons. Therefore, we inform this court that the accused persons do not wish to proceed with the plea-bargaining agreement,” the lawyer said.

He also opposed the request by the prosecution to have the matter adjourned to another date for mention.

According to the defence lawyer, there was no stage of mention of case under the law and the prosecutor had not cited any provision of the law to support such a position.

The advocate expressed concern after the prosecution informed the court that investigations into the matter have not been completed.

He submitted that under section 245 (4) (5) (6) of Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), the DPP filed the case having being satisfied that the investigations were complete.

Earlier, Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon, for the prosecution, requested the court to adjourn the trial for another mention date as the investigations into the matter have not been completed.

He also submitted that the court lacked jurisdiction to either hear the case or give any order because the case against the accused persons falls under the Economic and Organized Crime Control Act.

After hearing the parties, the magistrate adjourned the case to May 26, 2021 when he will deliver a ruling on the submissions raised.

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