A senior manager of Acacia Mining’s Tanzanian businesses has been arrested and charged by the Tanzanian Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). The senior manager has pleaded not guilty to all charges, according to Acacia Mining.
The company said it believes the charges are related to some of the 39 criminal charges brought forth by the PCCB on October 17 against a current employee and a former employee of Acacia group companies, as well as Pangea Minerals Limited (PML), Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Ltd. (BGML) and North Mara Gold Mine Ltd. (NMGML).
“We understand that he has been charged with various counts of tax evasion, forgery and money laundering, but have not yet seen a copy of the charge sheet,” the company said in a statement.
The senior manager, a Tanzania national, remains in custody, and is not allowed to be released out on bail since he is charged with offenses under the Tanzanian Anti-Money Laundering Act.
“The company believes that these recent actions represent a significant escalation of governmental pressure, as the company’s 19-month dispute with the government of Tanzania remains unresolved and as the discussions between Barrick Gold Corp. and the government have not yet been concluded,” Acacia said in a statement.
Acacia noted that all the criminal proceedings relate to matters now being considered in contractual arbitrations, with the majority relating to the historical structuring and financing of PML, BGML and NMGML dating back as far as 2008, prior to the IPO of the Acacia Group. These contractual arbitrations have continued through 2018. The government has accused Acacia of tax evasion, but Acacia has denied any wrongdoing.