A PROMINENT business tycoon linked to Kagoda Agriculture Company made frequent night visits to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to finalize plans for the looting of more than 40bn/- from the central banks external payment arrears (EPA) account during 2005/06, it has now been revealed. A former BoT employee revealed exclusively to THISDAY that the well-known individual (name withheld) used to enter the central banks Twin Towers headquarters in Dar es Salaam under cover of darkness and hold secret talks with the then BoT governor, Dr Daudi Ballali (now deceased), along with other senior bank officials. This man is the only person in living memory to have come to the central bank to do business at night," said the ex-BoT employee, often a direct witness of the business tycoons apparently clandestine night visits which occurred in the months leading up to the 2005 general elections. He would come in the dark when the bank is closed for official business and other workers have gone home...It was almost like he owned the place... It is understood that BoT security personnel were under specific instructions to let the man in whatever time he arrived at the main gate. It is now believed that these nighttime meetings provided the conspiratory backdrop for the forging of various documents to facilitate the systematic siphoning of a cool 40bn/- plus out of the BoT-EPA account and into Kagoda company coffers. The same business tycoon also made regular visits to the Ministry of Finance during the same period, said the ex-BoT employee who has preferred to remain strictly anonymous: The man understood to be the principle architect behind the Kagoda company created a reputation for himself as someone who could influence high-level appointments in government - Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries, CEOs of state-run enterprises, and so on. According to various government insider sources, the self-proclaimed king-maker all but threatened senior government officials at both the central bank and the finance ministry that they would not get to keep their jobs in the incoming fourth phase government if they didnt do exactly what he wanted. He would give orders to senior officials in the Mkapa (third phase) government, who would usually comply since they were under the impression that this man could get them re-appointed to their positions in the fourth phase government, one government insider has told THISDAY. Amongst those Mkapa government stalwarts who are said to have come under the tycoons spell was the late Ballali himself, who was reportedly promised re-appointment as BoT governor in the incoming fourth phase government. Official government records show that Ballali personally endorsed several fraudulent payments to Kagoda from the EPA account, and also fired the then BoT auditors PriceWaterHouse Coopers when they raised audit queries about the same payments made to Kagoda. He also famously lied to the then finance minister Zakia Meghji, telling her that the payments made to Kagoda had been authorized by Mkapas State House for a 'confidential' government project. It has further been stated that it was Ballali who, during 2004/05, notified the business tycoon of the existence of vast amounts of money inside the central banks EPA account. Said one government insider to THISDAY: "Thats the point where the plot began to be hatched for the subsequent looting of the EPA funds. And it is this mans self-professed influence in current government corridors that surely explains why the Kagoda case has yet to be prosecuted...despite the presence of clear evidence of fraud Investigations by THISDAY have established that more than half of the 40bn/- looted by Kagoda was paid to the company just days before the 2005 general elections were initially scheduled to be held on October 30 of that year. The BoT released a total of 25,759,769,275.10/- to Kagoda on October 27, 2005, in four separate installments and via different bank accounts within Dar es Salaam. One week later (November 3, 2005), the central bank made six more transfers of funds to the same companys bank accounts, amounting to more than 8bn/-. About a month afterwards (December 5, 2005), Kagoda was yet again the beneficiary of hefty BoT disbursements amounting to over 800m/-. All these payments made by BoT to Kagoda occurred in the final days of the Mkapa government, before the elections were held and the fourth phase administration of incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete took over. Our investigations have also established that at least six separate bank accounts opened at different CRDB Bank branches in the city were used by Kagoda to grab the EPA loot. The use of separate bank accounts maintained by the apparently shell company is understood to have been specifically designed to avoid raising the suspicion of authorities by spreading the huge sums of money around. It is understood that the CRDB Bank accounts were opened at the same time and therefore have a similar sequence of numbers. The six bank account numbers maintained by Kagoda at different CRDB Bank branches within the city, are as follows: Holland House (A/C No. 01J1021795700), Azikiwe Branch (A/C No. 01J1021795701), Tower Branch (A/C No. 01J1021795702), Kijitonyama Branch (A/C No. 01J1021795703), Lumumba Branch (A/C No. 01J1021795704), and Vijana Branch (A/C No. 01J1021795705).