Smuggled gold brothers handed 15 years jail term

07Sep 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Mwanza
The Guardian
Smuggled gold brothers handed 15 years jail term

MWANZA Resident Magistrate’s court yesterday convicted owners of 35.34 kilogrammes of smuggled gold worth 2bn/- which was returned by Kenyan authorities in July this year of economic sabotage.

In the judgment read by Principal Resident Magistrate Rodha Ngimilanga on case number 8 of 2018, the court also forfeited the gold to the state.

The owners who are brothers, Charles Warioba and Warioba Marwa, proprietors of Nyamaswa Investments Company were found guilty on all three counts of leading organized crime, illegal transportation of gold and money laundering.

The convicts were sentenced to pay 5m/- each for the first offence or five-year jail term, for the second offence they were fined 10m/- each or 10 years in jail and for the third offence, they were sentenced 100m/- each or 15 years in prison. The convicts were returned to prison and it was not clear if they managed to mobilise the fine money by press time.

The sentence was handed down after the duo pleaded guilty of the charges, magistrate Ngimilanga said.

The case had a total of 14 suspects but 10 were set free after the Director of Public Prosecutions Biswalo Mganga entered nolle prosequi while two were released when President John Magufuli visited Bugando Prison here in July.

During the impromptu visit, convicts as well as the accused persons remanded at one of Tanzania’s biggest correctional facilities grabbed the rare opportunity to meet the Head of State, appealed for his intervention in their quest for justice and the two suspects were among the beneficiaries.

Prosecution in the case was staffed by state attorneys Shadrack Kimaro, Jacqueline Nyantori, Georgina Kinabo and Castus Ndamugoba while the defence team comprised of advocates Mwaya Mabela, Makete Masato and Wilbert Kilomi.

 During the handing over of the gold by a high level Kenyan delegation, President Magufuli promised to issue a reward to police officers and other security agencies involved in the impounding of the gold, transported from Mwanza Airport to the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) and then to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where it was seized by Kenyan law enforcers.

The 22 pieces of gold were brought to Dar es Salaam by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr Monica Juma, accompanied by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, Attorney General Paul Kihara, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and the Director of the Asset Recovery Agency.

The high-powered delegation also discussed other issues with the president and high ranking government officials, including purchasing a large quantity of maize as well as putting in place plans to build a natural gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa.