MORE THAN HALF A BILLION SHILLINGS ALLEGEDLY STOLEN
FROM A BANK CONVERTED INTO MOBILE PHONE VOUCHERS
A Dar es Salaam-based businessman has been charged with alleged fraud and theft of more than half a billion shillings from a bank, in one of the biggest money laundering cases in the country.
Forty-year-old Humoud Ally Salum, a resident of Kariakoo area in the city, was arraigned before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court on January 17, this year, on 15 counts of fraud, theft and money laundering.
In the elaborate money laundering scam, the businessman was alleged to have stolen hundreds of millions of shillings from one bank, transferred the money to another bank then quickly converted the cash into mobile phone vouchers.
He is alleged to have used the stolen funds to purchase mobile phone vouchers worth more than 500m/- on different occasions to try to hide the source of the illicit money.
The businessman denied the charges before resident magistrate Sundi Fimbo and was sent to remand prison until the case comes up for another mention today.
In the first count, prosecutors alleged that Salum illegally obtained more than 560m/- from CRDB Bank through fraud.
"Humoud Ally Salum ... between November and December 2010 within the city and region of Dar es Salaam, conspired with other persons unknown to defraud CRDB Bank 562,861,500/-," said part of the charge sheet seen by THISDAY.
In the second count, the accused person was charged with theft of the stated amount from CRDB Bank.
Prosecutors charged the businessmen with more than ten counts of money laundering.
According to the charge sheet, Salum "directly engaged himself in a transaction involving the proceeds of a predicate offence by receiving credit in his bank account number 041103001336 at NBC Limited Muhimbili branch amounting to 185,580,000/-, which was stolen from CRDB Bank."
Prosecutors alleged that Salum received another payment of 228,375,000/- in the same NBC bank account on December 7, last year, which was allegedly stolen from NBC Bank.
On December 20, last year, another payment of 148,906,500/- was allegedly made into his NBC bank account from the same stolen CRDB bank funds, prosecutors said.
Salum, who is also known as Salim or Humoud Shkely, is alleged to have used 73m/- out of the stolen funds to purchase mobile phone recharge vouchers from Shivacom Group in Dar es Salaam.
Prosecutors alleged that the move was aimed at "concealing or disguising the illicit origin of that money or assisting persons involved in the commission of the offence to evade the legal consequences of their actions."
Prosecutors said the businessman again bought 85m/- worth of mobile phone vouchers on December 10 with the same money laundering intention.
On December 21, Salum also converted 70m/- cash into recharge vouchers bought from Shivacom.
He then purchased another 20m/- worth of mobile phone vouchers from Selcom Wireless company, said prosecutors.
Other transactions involving the purchase of mobile phone vouchers were made on December 8 from Selcom Wireless (60m/-), November 29 from CHISS JR Company (26m/-), December 22 from CHISS JR company (77.5m/-), December 8 from Come and Call Ltd (90m/-), November 27 from Ace Distributors Ltd (35m/-) and November 26 from Freedom Communication Ltd (20.9m/-).