The High Court started hearing the 1trn/- suit alleging Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) of massive extraction of funds from Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL).
The case is lodged by plaintiff, VIP Engineering and Marketing Limited against giant Standard Chartered Bank Groups and three other defendants.
The defendant’s advocates raised an issue alleging the experts’ reports have been filed too late and completely introducing a new case that has never been pleaded before. This will put the court in a difficult situation and that would make the defendants to defend a case as contained in the plaint of the suit previously filed and the new case which has not been pleaded.
However, Counsel for the plaintiff, told the court that the filling of the documents in dispute was proper and legal, as the law allows the parties to file such documents at the first hearing of the case concerned.
In the reports, the international experts supporting a local investor found that the bank was “willfully blind” when buying a USD 100 million plus debt used to enable and conceal an embezzlement scheme in IPTL, a key Tanzanian infrastructure project.
The three independent expert reports explain in detail how the bank allegedly facilitated illicit financial flows out of Tanzania. One report, by international financial experts, states that “SCB consented to and played a necessary role in facilitating payments for uncategorized costs and debts”.
The report concludes that “From a commercial point of view such an investment makes no sense, leading to the conclusion that SCB had some purpose other than investment”.