Leaked data that has been accessed by a UK newspaper reveals seven individual account holders, listed as officers and master clients, all with addresses in Dar es Salaam.
Seven Tanzanians have about $40 million (Sh64 billion) stashed in offshore accounts in British Virgin Islands and Jersey, The Citizen can reveal today.
The revelation comes in the wake of reports that the committee set up by the government to trace the owners of the $196.87 million allegedly kept in Swiss banks has failed to come up with adequate evidence.
According to leaked offshore data obtained by the UK’s Guardian newspaper in collaboration with the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and analysed by over 110 journalists worldwide, seven Tanzanians operate offshore accounts.
The ICIJ’s exploration of offshore secrets began when a computer hard drive packed with corporate data arrived in the post. Gerard Ryle, the ICIJ’s director, obtained the small black box as a result of his three-year investigation of Australia’s Firepower scandal, a case involving offshore havens and corporate fraud.
The hard drive contained more than 260 gigabytes, the equivalent of half a million books. Its files included two million emails and four large databases. There were details of more than 122,000 offshore companies or trusts, and nearly 12,000 intermediaries (agents or “introducers”).
Unlike the smaller cache of US cables and war logs passed in 2010 to WikiLeaks, the offshore data was not structured or clean, but an unsorted collation of internal memos and instructions, official documents, emails, databases and spreadsheets, scanned passports and accounting ledgers.
The leaked data, also seen by The Citizen, could shed light on how the offshore account holders operate to avoid being detected by relevant authorities.
The Citizen understands that there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. This being the case, the revelation of Tanzanians operating offshore accounts does not intend to suggest or imply that the individuals have broken the law or obtained their billions illegally.
According to the leaked data the seven individuals, listed as officers and master clients, all have addresses in Dar es Salaam.
They are Mr Andre Schmid, Mr Kaniz Mehbub Manji, Mr Mehbub Yusufali Manji, Mr Rameshchandra Chotalal Somani, Mr Stuart Hugh MacDonald and Mr Rameshchandra C. Somani.
It is not clear whether these Tanzanians acted as underlying officers in offshore banking or are the real owners of the billions wired into their accounts in Virgin Islands.
According to offshore procedures, underlying officer is person or company who plays a role in an offshore entity but whose name appears behind the name of a nominee.
Inside the secret world of offshore banking, a nominee is a person or company that acts on behalf of the beneficial owner of an entity to provide an extra level of secrecy, while a master client is often an intermediary or go-between who helps a client set up an offshore entity.
The addresses used by the six Tanzanians who appeared under the category of officers and masters clients are Lohana Complex, Block 20, Dar es Salaam, Mtendeni/Mreema Street, P. O. Box 22246.
Other addresses are P.O. BOX 1192, Dar es Salaam, P.O. BOX 235, Dar es Salaam, which were used by the individuals who owns offshore accounts in Virgin Islands and Jersey.
There is also Plot 310A, Mikocheni Off Garden Road, which is listed as a contact address for one of the individuals who have offshore accounts.
Two individuals used Shri Lohana Building Mrima Temple Street in Dar es Salaam as their contact addresses, according to details gathered by The Citizen.
For instance Kaniz Mehbub Manji is linked to a company called Inter Trade Commercial Services Incorporation, where he is listed as director and shareholder.
His offshore account was opened in October 2007, according to details gathered by The Citizen.
Mr Mehbub Yusufali Manji is also listed as shareholder and director of the Inter Trade Commercial Services whereby he shares same address with Kaniz Mehbub Manji.
Inter Trade Commercial Services, which uses P.O.BOX 235, Dar es Salaam as its local address has another web of five companies and trust incorporated in British Virgin Islands, according to investigation by The Citizen.
The Citizen also further established that Mr Andre Schmid who uses the Plot 310A, Mikocheni Off Garden Road as his address is listed as the director of A.I.E Ltd, which started operation in February 2006.
Mr Schmid through the company A.I.E Ltd has a web of another twelve offshore trusts and companies, which uses Portcullis TrustNet Chambers of P.O. Box 3444 Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, as permanent address.
The Citizen investigations further reveals that Mr Stuart Hugh MacDonald who uses P.O. BOX 1192 Dar es Salaam is listed as the shareholder of a company called Lodge Solutions Ltd incorporated in April 2005.
Additional reporting by the UK’s Guardian newspaper.