Se­nior Halo­tel Tan­za­nia, Zan­tel of­fi­cials in court over fraud charges

The East African - - NEWS - Pic: File

Tan­za­nian prose­cu­tors on Wed­nes­day charged two chief ex­ec­u­tives of mo­bile phone com­pa­nies and four other sus­pects with fraud as part of a crack­down against tax eva­sion.

The ex­ec­u­tives charged were Le Van Dai, 35, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Halo­tel Tan­za­nia, owned by Viet­nam-based tele­coms op­er­a­tor Vi­et­tel, and Sherif El Bar­bary, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Zan­tel.

The sus­pects de­nied the charges at a court in Dar es Salaam and were sent to remand, pend­ing trial. They were charged with il­le­gally im­port­ing and op­er­at­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment that al­lowed them to fraud­u­lently by-pass the gov­ern­ment’s telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions traf­fic mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem.

Tan­za­nia Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity of­fi­cials said the sus­pects were found in il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of close to 300,000 un­reg­is­tered mo­bile phone SIM cards, which were al­legedly used to send and re­ceive in­ter­na­tional SMS.

Pres­i­dent John Magu­fuli sacked the head of the tele­coms reg­u­la­tor in 2016 for fail­ing to mon­i­tor the in­dus­try, re­sult­ing in the loss of po­ten­tial tax rev­enues of over $180 mil­lion a year since 2013.

Tan­za­nia Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity of­fi­cials said the sus­pects were found in il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of close to 300,000 un­reg­is­tered mo­bile phone SIM cards.

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