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.