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The fresh version of Sailesh Vithlani

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Sep 21, 2008
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
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    The fresh version of Sailesh Vithlani

    2008-09-21 10:25:37
    By The Guardian on Sunday Team

    The broker of the controversial BAE radar deal, Sailesh Vithlani, has been spotted several times in Switzerland between January and June, this year, The Guardian on Sunday has learnt.

    The news comes amid reports that Vithlani won`t face any charges in the UK, after the Mwanza-born businessman entered into a special deal with investigators early this year, The Guardian on Sunday can reveal today.

    Independent sources confirmed to The Guardian on Sunday that the radar broker has been spotted several times in Lausanne, Bellinzona and Zurich since reaching the immunity deal with UK investigators.

    In a recent event, Vithlani was spotted in one of the biggest Hotels in Lausanne city.

    Speaking under strict anonymity, a Tanzanian businessman who lives in UK said he met Mr Vithlani at Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne in June this year, where the radar prime suspect was staying during a short vacation.

    ``We just spoke briefly and everybody went on with his business� I have known him(Vithlani) for over twenty years.`` Our source said.

    Vithlani organised a $40 million deal between the UK arms suppliers the British Aerospace Engineering (BAE system) and the Tanzanian government, and allegedly received kickbacks amounting to $12 million that he shared with at least seven high-ranking officials from the previous Tanzanian administration.

    He fled the country two- years-ago soon after he was charged with perjury, and reportedly has three passports - Indian, UK and Tanzanian - and dual citizenship in Tanzania and India.

    Though he has been granted immunity in the UK, Tanzanian authorities said he is still a wanted man here.

    ``As far as we are concerned, he is still wanted to answer charges in Tanzania. We issued his arrest warrant, which was then given to Interpol,`` Director of Public Prosecution Eliezer Feleshi, told The Guardian on Sunday yesterday in a phone interview.

    ``The matter is being manned jointly by [the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB)] and Interpol, and hopefully one day he will be arrested,`` the DPP said.

    Police who are collaborating with Interpol told The Guardian on Sunday that the PCCB is the authority responsible for initiating the process of extraditing Vithlani from Switzerland.

    Director of Criminal Investigations Robert Manumba said that the issue of the radar middleman was directly under the PCCB, and although his office was in `very close` cooperation with the bureau, he was not in a position to discuss it.

    ``They are the investigating agency,`` Manumba said, �and whether an extradition agreement of criminals exists between Tanzania and Switzerland, the most competent person to talk about it is the Attorney General.``

    When The Guardian on Sunday sought PCCB chief Edward Hosea to clarify whether the State was still after Vithlani, as well as the progress reached so far in arresting the prime suspect, he couldn�t be reached for comments.

    Meanwhile, the Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania is out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
    Granted amnesty.

    Vithlani reached a deal with the UK`s Serious Fraud Office, which has been investigating the BAE deal, in which he helped them to identify those who got a chunk of the dirty money deposited in his Swiss bank account, in exchange for immunity from prosecution for his involvement in the crime, according to reliable sources within the SFO and the corridors of power in Dar es Salaam.

    In legal terms, the process is known as plea bargaining, whereby a confession can be made under a special agreement where both sides give an offer to cooperate with the other.

    Authorities often offer amnesty in exchange for information, but Tanzanian authorities said Vithlani�s immunity in the UK does not preclude them from bringing him to court here.

    ``We are guided by our laws...being granted amnesty by a third party can`t stop us from prosecuting him in Tanzania,`` the DPP said.

    The DPP added, ``Whatever they agreed during their plea bargain process has nothing to do with the pending criminal case he is facing in Tanzania.``

    Commenting on the same issue, a Dar es Salaam-based lawyer, Alex Mgongolwa said plea bargains reached abroad are not recognised here, although a similar plea bargain could potentially be arranged between Vithlani and the Tanzanian government, without full amnesty though.

    ``Yes he will be free in the UK or America, but he can still be prosecuted in Tanzania�our law allows plea bargaining but doesn�t grant amnesty to the suspect,� Mgongolwa told The Guardian on Sunday.

    Investigation completed
    The SFO has just completed its investigation on the dubious radar deal, but has said it will not make the report public.

    The UK investigators have established that seven high-ranking Tanzanian officials directly or indirectly benefited from the dubious deal, in which the watchman radar`s price was inflated by about Sh15 billion.

    BAE made two parallel arrangements with Vithlani; in the first, a conventional agency agreement was signed, leading to payments of 1 percent commission after the $40 million radar deal was approved.

    One month after the deal was approved by the government`s negotiating team, BAE system paid a local firm, Merlin International Ltd, a total of $400,000.

    Vithlani was the majority shareholder in this firm, while the minority shares were owned by former business tycoon Tanil Somaiya.

    In a questionable move, BAE system entered into the second more unusual agreement, which led the UK arms supplier to pay 30 percent of the total contract, or $12 million, through a secretly owned offshore company, Red Diamond, to Vithlani bank`s account in Switzerland.

    SOURCE: Sunday Observer
     
  2. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Sep 21, 2008
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    Uchunguzi wa rada sasa umekamilika

    2008-09-21 11:38:33
    Na Mwandishi Wetu

    Ule uchunguzi uliohusu kashfa ya ununuzi wa rada uliokuwa ukifanywa na makachero wa Uingereza kupitia taasisi inayojishughulisha na makosa makubwa ya kughushi ya Uingereza (SFO), hatimaye sasa umekamilika.

    Hata hivyo, taasisi hiyo imesema kuwa haipo tayari kutoa ripoti hiyo hadharani. Kwa mantiki hiyo, baada ya uchunguzi kukamilika, ni dhahiri kuwa uamuzi sasa uko mikononi mwa Rais Jakaya Kikwete pamoja na Serikali ya uingereza.

    Rais Kikwete akizungumzia sakata hilo huko nyuma, aliwahi kusema kuwa bei ya rada hiyo ilikuwa kubwa kuliko bei halisi, hivyo fedha iliyozidi yafaa irejeshwe.

    Kwa mujibu wa taarifa ambazo Nipashe Jumapili inazo, makachero hao wamebaini vigogo saba raia wa Tanzania ama moja kwa moja au kwa mazingira walihusika na kujinufaisha na zabuni ya rada hiyo iliyoibua utata mkubwa.

    Imedaiwa kwamba thamani ya ununuzi wa rada hiyo iliongezwa kuliko bei halisi kwa takribani Sh. bilioni 15.
    Uchunguzi umeweza kubaini kwamba kampuni ya BAE kwa mara mbili tofauti ilifanya mipango na wakala wa mkataba huo, Vithlani ambapo baada ya makubaliano ya malipo ya ununuzi kwa Dola za Marekani milioni 40, kamisheni ya asilimia moja ilitolewa.

    Imebainika kwamba, mara baada ya timu ya wawakilishi wa mapatano wa serikali kupitisha makubaliano hayo, BAE iliilipa kampuni moja iliyopo nchini iliyojulikana kwa jina la Merlin International Ltd jumla ya Dola za Marekani 400,000.

    Vithlani ndiye ambaye amebainika kumiliki hisa kubwa katika kampuni hiyo huku hisa nyingine ndogo zikimilikiwa na aliyewahi kuwa mfanyabiashara mwingine maarufu, Tanil Somaiya.

    Katika hali ya kutatanisha, imegundulika kuwa BAE iliingia katika makubaliano mengine yenye utata ambapo kampuni moja inayojihusisha na ununuzi na uuzaji wa silaha yenye ofisi zake nchini Uingereza iliwajibika kulipa asilimia 30 ya mkataba wote wa mauzo ya rada, sawa na Dola milioni 12 kwa kificho kupitia kampuni ya `mfukoni` Red Diamond ikitumia akaunti ya benki ya Vithlani nchini Uswisi.

    Kulingana na vyanzo mbalimbali vya habari serikalini na kwingineko jijini Dar es Salaam, Vithlani aliisaidia ofisi inayojishughulisha na makosa makubwa ya kughushi iliyokuwa ikipeleleza shughuli za BAE nchini Uingereza ambapo aliwataja walionufaika na fedha haramu za mkataba huo wa rada.

    Katika lugha za kisheria makubaliano kama hayo huhusisha kila upande kutoa ofa maalumu kwa msaada inaoupata.

    Kwa upande wa idara ya upelelezi huweza kutoa ofa ya kumpa mtuhumiwa kama Vithlani hadhi ya ukimbizi japokuwa vyombo vya dola nchini Tanzania vinadai kwamba kinga anayopewaVithlani haizuii kumrejesha nchini ili kujibu tuhuma zake za ufisadi na hujuma.

    ``Kimsingi kulingana na sheria tulizonazo hata kama amepewa kinga haituzuii kumrejesha Tanzania ili aje kujibu tuhuma dhidi yake,`` Mkurugenzi wa Mashtaka Tanzania (DPP), Robert Manumba alikaririwa akisema.

    ``Hata kama wamepeana ofa katika makubaliano yao, haizuii sisi kumrejesha ili ajibu kesi inayomkabili hapa nchini,`` alisema DPP huyo.

    Akizungumzia kuhusiana na kashfa hiyo, mwanasheriaa mwenye ofisi zake jijini Dar es Salaam, Alex Mgongolwa, alisema makubaliano hayo yaliyofikiwa ulaya kumpa kinga Vithlani hayatambuliki kisheria nchini Tanzania japokuwa makubaliano kama hayo yanaweza kufanywa kati ya Tanzania na bila kuwepo msamaha kamilifu.

    ``Ndiyo, Vithlani anaweza kuwa huru nchini Uingereza au Marekani lakini bado anaweza kushtakiwa nchini Tanzania.

    Japokuwa serikali kwa kiasi fulani inaweza kufikia makubaliano na mtuhumiwa, hata hivyo haiwezi kumpa msamaha moja kwa moja,`` alisema Mgongolwa.
     
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