Forex dealer nabbed with $70 000 in hard currency

rand dola pula

Codelia Mondela, Court Reporter
A BULAWAYO illegal foreign currency dealer has been arrested for allegedly possessing more than $70 000 in various currencies.

The money, which included R436 210, $14 229 in bond notes, US$12 055 and P1 720, was recovered stashed inside the loading box of his car, a Toyota Hilux.

Brine Matarutse (33) of Njube suburb was arrested by detectives last week for allegedly dealing in foreign currency.

Matarutse appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Nyarai Ringisai facing charges of contravening a section of the Exchange Control regulations. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded out of custody to November 21 on $100 bail.

The prosecutor, Mr Carrington Dhliwayo said on November 9 this year detectives received a tip-off that Matarutse was carrying a huge amount of money in various currencies. They found him standing near his car, which was outside Tredgold Magistrate’s Court.

“When police arrived at the scene, they found the accused person carrying some money and moving around flapping it. They took him to the police station and searched his car where they found $12 055, R436 210, $14 229 bond notes and P1 720 hidden in the vehicle loading box,” said Mr Dhliwayo.

The court heard that on being interviewed Matarutse admitted that he was a currency dealer. He told the court that the money belonged to his clients who supplied him with cash.

In September, six suspected illegal money changers in Bulawayo became the first to be charged under a new law that criminalises buying and selling forex.

Maritha Ncube (32) of Lobengula West, Celestino Panganai and David Madaba both from Cowdray Park, Enias Dzinavanhu from Nketa 9, Fortune Mhenyu (37) and Nyasha Museka (34) both from Makokoba appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya.

There cases are pending before the court.


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  • Mthwakazi Wabantu

    If one has already made that kind of money through trading currencies informally; why not call it a career and stop this trading which has now been illegalized and open maybe a store or a tuck shop and trade formally? Now his life is ruined. He will lose all that money plus he is facing up 10 years in prison. I think someone in his inner circle or a rival dealer sold him out to the authorities and they will get a commission out of it. How sad.

    • Thando Siziba

      It has to do with the fact that something legal can not make such kinds of profit especially in our type of economy

      • Unathi Makhetha

        If you have, a self-admitted dysfunctional personality then it’s probably at least rational not to want to show up as oneself.

      • Mthwakazi Wabantu

        What’s your point???

    • Njani futhi

      since we are using forex, why criminalize carrying forex?

  • Guest

    He was found in possession of foreign currency but there is no evidence that he was trading currency. Acquitted due to lack of evidence

    • Legal Eagle

      The currency he was carrying is “local legal tender” in layman terms this means a legal tender that is a medium of payment recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Since we have no currency of our own and all these currencies are legal tender it is not illegal to have this money in your possession. The only snag is that if you have large sums of “local currency” you have to be in a position to prove it was not obtained by illegal means. Then of course you have to also prove that you did not skin the taxman. All legal loopholes that were created by a dysfunctional system.

      • Unathi Makhetha

        You got it right this time.

  • makhosi

    its a smame. Casualties of economic mismanagement.

    • Cetshwayo kaGodlwayo Original

      Really ?

      Really ?

      Sorry, you sound really somewhat immature, which isn’t in itself a “crime”, but you need to put these things into perspective.

  • God of War

    I hope the cash will not be forfeited to the state.

  • Wellington

    They should open a bank account for him and let him deposit it there rather than forfeit it to the state

    • Mthwakazi Wabantu

      That’s not gonna happen.