Tuesday, 3 November 2020

GOLD SMUGGLING : COPS TARGET FIDELITY PRINTERS

POLICE have launched an investigation into the Fidelity Printers and Refiners, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and security agents stationed at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport as they cast their net wider to fish out suspected members of the alleged gold smuggling syndicate that was busted after Henrietta Rushwaya was caught trying to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai on October 26.

Her arrest also led to businessman Ali Muhamad, two State security agents and two top policemen.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Chibaya today told the court that they want to establish how Rushwaya and her accomplices got the 99.99 percent purified gold, which can only be obtained from Fidelity Printers and Refiners in the country.

He also said they wanted to establish how the closed circuit television (CCTV) was switched off during the attempt to smuggle out the 6kg of gold to Dubai by officials at the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe who are the custodians of the said CCTV at the airport.

He said those suspected to have played a role during investigations will be arrested. “Investigations are still underway and more arrests are to be made.

“The gold which was recovered had a purity of 99 percent and can be done by a reputable refinery and in Zimbabwe, it is Fidelity Printers.

“When Rushwaya was arrested, amongst the documents she produced was a gold dealing agent permit issued to Ali Japan 786 Limited where Ali is one of the directors. Investigations are called to determine whether there is a relationship between Rushwaya, Ali Japan and the gold recovered.

“At the RGM Airport, the responsible authorities manning the CCTV are indicating that there was no ZESA between 10am and 2pm. “Investigations have revealed that there was just a power cut for between 10 to 20 minutes.

“This led to the digital CCTV being tempered with, which we feel was made to conceal the crime. There are chances that there might be a syndicate and chances are high that Steven Tserayi and Raphious Mufandauya had influence on switching off the CCTV.

“Investigations are zeroing on Fidelity Printers and Refinery, security agents at airport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe security who are the custodians of the CCTV.”

Chibaya said this before magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna and the State is opposing granting of bail to the five.

“Mufandauya is the officer in charge at airport and also a team leader responsible for operations at the airport. They do work closely with CAAZ and also I had the pleasure to watch the CCTV which shows when Rushwaya, Tserayi and Mufandauya arrive at the airport. They were received at the departures which shows that they were in communication,” he said. Herald

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