Thursday, 28 October 2021

FOREX ABUSERS FREED

The High Court has freed, on bail, three alleged economic saboteurs who were arrested last month in a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe blitz against illegal foreign currency dealers.

The trio is answering to criminal charges for dealing in foreign currency generated from at least $210 475 688 between January and June 2020.

The three include Access Finance boss Raymond Chigogwana, Esau Bwerinofa director of Chemmodities Trading Private Limited and Takudzwa Rafemoyo.

Justice Pisirayi Kwenda admitted Chigogwana and Bwerinofa, who had spent more than three weeks in remand prison, to $200 000 bail each.

Rafemoyo was ordered to pay $50 000.

As part of the bail conditions each of the suspects was ordered to remain resident at their given address, not to interfere with witnesses and surrender their passports and title deeds to one immovable property as surety.

Prosecuting, the State had it that a number of senior managers from various companies were illegally dealing in foreign currency heavily contributing to the weakening of the Zimbabwean dollar against major currencies on the alternative market.

Allegations are that one of the companies had allegedly employed 429 forex dealers who operated in a “mafia like modus operandi” involving “a complicated syndicate with other known companies that are under probe.”

The State alleged that the institutions were allegedly still trading using the EcoCash bulk payer lines.

Dream High Investments, represented by Tinashe Paradise Magada, is alleged to have transferred $143 669 348 while Access Finance (Private) Limited allegedly transacted $185 420 444.

Tererati (Private) Limited owned by Samuel Tererai Chiodze is said to have transacted $125 722 079 while Capital Profit Financial Services represented by Taitus Tapiwa Madzara, allegedly transacted $59 237 733.

Raymond Mudonhi Investment (Private) Limited, Justice Mahuni, Kudzai Mudonhi and Juso Global Limited Justice Mahuni allegedly illegally traded $150 128 765.

Dream High Investments, received $143 669 348 from different companies and individuals, which it then transferred using the EcoCash bulk payer line to agents who would buy forex on their behalf from the streets.

Access Finance, which is registered as a bureau de change, is alleged to have bought various Econet lines which it would give to various agents, who in turn used them to buy foreign currency on the streets.

It is alleged that its conduct was against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe financial regulations. Vision Credit Source Pvt Ltd was jointly charged with Takudzwa Godwin Rafemoyo (42) for illicitly buying foreign currency worth $192 million.

Rafemoyo allegedly opened a bank account for Vision Credit with Steward Bank before registering five separate EcoCash agent lines, which were then used as conduits to move the money to various buyers.

Between January 16 and May 7 the same year, he transferred $49 million into one of his agent lines before transferring another $49 million into the other lines “for the purpose of buying foreign currency on the black market”.

He went on to transfer amounts ranging between $2 million and $9 million into the other lines for the same reason. H Metro

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