Friday 26 April 2024


 TWELVE more suspected money changers have appeared in court in Bindura and Beitbridge on allegations of illegally transacting in foreign currency and the newly introduced ZiG currency.

In Bindura, a group appeared before provincial magistrate Mr Tinanshe Ndokera facing charges of contravening the Exchange Control Regulations SI 109/1996 which prohibit unlicensed dealing in foreign currency.

They were remanded in custody to Monday for bail hearing. Among the accused is a popular airtime vendor who operates from a green Toyota Noah vehicle.

Prosecutor Mr Carson Kundiona said that on Tuesday, detectives who were on surveillance observed Samantha Chiunje (22) being approached by several people while she was seated in the car.

Suspecting that she was dealing in foreign currency, detectives approached her and checked her phone. She had sent an Ecocash transaction of ZiG 13 to three different people.

After failing to produce any relevant licence that permits her to deal in foreign currency she was arrested.

At TM supermarket, Tsitsi Tembo (33) was allegedly observed dealing in foreign currency. The court heard that she sent two ZiG 14 transactions and one of ZiG 28 to three people.

Another accused Lloyd Khama (47) was found with 12 bank cards and had made Ecocash transactions in ZiG.

After failing to give a satisfactory explanation on why he had so many bank cards, he was arrested.

In Beitbridge, Alfred Muchena (41), Justice Machisane (25), Joseph Kudakwashe Wamambo (36), Martin Chikuni (40), Phillip Parishi (31) and Lovemore Chivada (35), who were arrested under operation “No to Illegal Forex Dealers”, were also taken to the local magistrate’s court. They were rounded up from several spots in the town this week.

They were not asked to plead when they appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Mr Takudzwa Gwazemba who remanded them in custody to Monday for their bail applications.

Appearing for the State, Ms Tinayeishe Matenga and Mr Ronald Mugwagwa alleged that at the time of arrest, Muchena was found with R4 000 and US$260, Machisane R4 810 and US$316, Wamambo R2840 and US$81, Chikuni R12 670 and US$84, Parishi R205 and US$56 and Chivada had R2 600 and US$260. Recently, 65 suspected illegal money changers were arrested in Harare and remanded in custody to Monday to allow the State to summon investigating officers to court to clarify the circumstances around the arrests. Herald


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