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Tanzania's Plea Deal Money Traced to Offshore Account in China, President Says

© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberThe President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.
The President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2023
The African country introduced amendments to its laws to bring plea-bargaining agreements under legislative control in 2019. Amid the increase of unbailable economic crimes, there was a need for some regulation that would allow the prosecutor and the accused to negotiate.
Tanzania's public prosecutor's office is to be investigated following recent allegations from the president that money obtained through plea bargaining arrangements can't be traced, local media has reported.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan recently revealed that most of the funds can't be found in the country and purportedly are stashed abroad in China.

“Part of the plea-bargaining funds can be traced, but most of it is not available, if you trace you will be told that there is an account in China," she stated.

However, she didn't provide any details on how much money is missing nor who is the owner of the offshore account where the funds have been transferred.
Under the previous president, the late John Pombe Magufuli, billions of shillings were collected through plea bargain deals as businessmen and politicians accused of serious economic crimes paid to be set free.
According to Tanzania's Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, over the period between July 2020 and March 2021, the prosecutor's office gained TSh35.07 billion ($15 million) from more than 190 cases.
But the country's controller and auditor general, Charles Kichere, stated that the office had collected a total of TSh51 billion ($22 million) through plea-bargaining agreements as of April 2021. He also confirmed that his office is investigating the collected funds, stating that the report would be ready by March.
Amendments to criminal laws were introduced in 2019, with regulations to make the law operational coming into effect in February 2021. Before the amendments were passed in Tanzania's parliament, plea bargaining took place without legal regulation.
There are several known cases of high-profile plea-bargaining deals in Tanzania. Former Vodacom Tanzania’s Managing Director Hisham Hendi and other executives were accused of economic crimes in 2019, but were reportedly released after pleading guilty, reaching a plea bargain deal and paying about TSh6 billion ($2.6 million).
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