Former Tanzanian senior health official charged with organizing criminal gang, money laundering


Tanzania’s former managing director of state-run Medical Stores Department (MSD) Laurean Bwanakunu on Friday appeared in court charged with five counts, including organizing a criminal gang and money laundering.

Bwanakunu and MSD’s acting logistics director Byekwaso Tabura appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, where they were accused of laundering 1.6 billion Tanzanian shillings (about 690,000 U.S. dollars).

The prosecution, led by state attorney Faraja Ngukah assisted by lawyers from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, told the court that the duo raised salaries of MSD employees without authorization of the permanent secretary for public service management.

The prosecutors said that between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2019, the two senior officials organized a criminal gang while they were public servants.

The criminal gang they organized was intended to steal money from their employer MSD, according to the prosecution.

The prosecution added that between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2019, the accused caused MSD to suffer a loss of about 3.8 billion shillings (about 1.64 million dollars).

In addition, the prosecution accused the two of failing to supervise storage of medical supplies worth 85 million shillings that led to their damage.

The duo was remanded in custody because the court had no jurisdiction of allowing them to enter any plea and the case was adjourned to June 19. Enditem

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