Court orders Rugemalira to prove  summons served to 11 persons

Court orders Rugemalira to prove summons served to 11 persons

THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam on Friday ordered prominent businessman, Mr James Rugemalira and VIP Engineering and Marketing Limited to prove the services have been effected to 11 persons before proceeding to determine the 61tri/-trial against them.

Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi issued the orders following submissions presented by counsel for the 11 persons and Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Gasper Nyika, who had complained that there was a proof of the court summons to have served to only two out of the 11 persons associated with the matter.

According to him, the service was done to Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania and Wartsila Tanzania Limited only, who are local companies, while the rest, most of them from outside the country, have not been served and were not formally aware of the pending proceedings.

Following the circumstances, the magistrate directed the applicants to follow the law and provide proof of services so that the matter could proceed for hearing.

Earlier, one of advocates for the applicants, Mr Respicius Didace, informed the Court that they had filed an affidavit stating how the services were effected. The two applicants filed an application, seeking for permission to institute and conduct a private criminal prosecution against 11 persons over 61tri/- losses to the government and VIP Engineering and Marketing Limited.

Other persons likely to face the criminal proceedings are Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank (Malaysia) Berhad, Wartsila Netherlands B.V and Wartsila Tanzania Limited.

The rest are Mr Sanjay Rughani - the current Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania Ltd, Mr Samir Subberwal – the Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd, Mr Abrar Anwal who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Malaysia) Berhad.

In the same boat of respondents are Mr Bill Winters who is the Chief Executive Director of Standard Chartered Bank, while another is Mr Hakan Agnevall who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Wartsila Corporation.

Mr Rugemalira has deponed an affidavit to support the application, stating that he is the International Independent Consultant of Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL) and a majority shareholder of VIP Engineering and Marketing Ltd.

He states that in the year 2005, well after the IPTL winding up, proceedings had been commenced since February 25, 2002, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), through its subsidiary Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd (SCBHK) and Danaharta purportedly executed a ‘Sale and Purchase Agreement’ (the SPA).

In that agreement, the businessman states that Danaharta (the seller) specifically disclaimed “any representation or warranty with respect to the execution, legality, validity, enforceability, registration, perfection, priority, genuineness, sufficiency, collectability or value” of the Facility Agreement.

Under the SPA, SCBHK (the buyer) also, represented that it was aware of the conditions in and of the assets it had purportedly purchased and that it had assumed responsibility to become familiar with all the laws and regulations applicable to certain documentation, including the Share Charge Agreement.

“I believe, which belief is based on my being very conversant with the affairs of IPTL that MECHMAR conspired with Standard Chartered Bank and evaded payment of USD 4.2million as four per cent Stamp Duty on the IPTL USD 105million, Loan Facility Instruments dated June 28, 1997,” reads part of Mr Rugemalira’s affidavit.

He stated that evading Stamp Duty is a criminal offence under section 73(2) (a) of the Tanzania Stamp Duty Act with the accrued interest compounding thereon at the rate of 26 percent per annum since July 28, 1997, and by July 28, 2021 shall have aggregated to more than USD 678,267,929.78, equivalent to 1.56tri/-.

According to him, continuing a criminal offence is conspiracy by the Standard Chartered Bank Group in the evasion of payment of Tanzania Stamp Duty on the USD 105million IPTL Loan Facility Instruments, which should have been paid by not later than July 28, 1997 but has never been paid by July 28, 2021.

The businessman deponed that on March 17, 2021, while at the Segerea Maximum Remand Prison, he wrote to Magistrate in Charge of the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court for summons to be issued so that he could make oral complaints and applications for permission to institute and to conduct private criminal prosecution.

According to him, such application aimed at recovering more than 61tri/- of Financial Assets that the Standard Chartered Bank Group and conspirators fraudulently obtained and or unlawfully converted and diverted from the United Republic of Tanzania and VIP Engineering and Marketing Ltd.

He stated that having read Professional Expert Report by Professor Palamagamba Kabudi dated August 12, 2014, Standard Chartered Bank groups cannot rely on the Loan Facility Instruments to claim any legal rights in IPTL since four percent of the Tanzania Stamp Duty was not paid on the USD 105 million IPTL Loan Facility Agreement.

“Doing so without payment of the mandatory Stamp Duty is a Criminal offence under Section 73(2) (a) of the Tanzania Stamp Duty Act. Prof. Kabudi also states in his Report that under Section 47(1) of the Act, unstamped documents cannot be admitted or acted upon by the courts of law and arbitration tribunals,” he stated.

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