Monday, 4 April 2022

BLACK MARKET RATE : PHARMACY DIRECTOR CLEARED

BESTZONE Pharmacy and its director Isaac Chipako were cleared of charges of violating the Exchange Control Act following allegations of trading in foreign currency rate above the official rate.

Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje cleared Bestzone Pharmacy and Chipako after the State withdrew charges against him before plea.

Bestzone Pharmacy and Chipako were arrested last year on allegations of trading at $180 per US$1 which was above the official rate of $88 per US dollar.

The State has since dropped charges against Consolidated Farming Investments (CFI) trading as Farm and City and Electrosales which were facing similar charges with Bestzone Pharmacy and its director.

Circumstances leading to Chipako and his company’s arrest are that sometime in October last year, social media was awash with news that Simbisa Brands was selling its product Russian Sausage for US$1 or $200 which was above the official rate of $88.

Officials from RBZ responded to the social media news and visited a number of outlets.

It was said that on October 7, 2021 Richard Mubata and Humphrey Takaza from Reserve Bank Financial Intelligence Unit went to one of the Bestzone Pharmacy’s branches and bought cough syrup for $1260 and also bought the same product for US$7.

According to the State, Bestzone Pharmacy was trading using the $180 rate which was above the official rate of $88.

Officials from RBZ took the matter to the police leading to Chipako and his company’s arrest.

Chipako and his company were freed after the State dropped charges against them. Herald

 

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