Freeman Razemba, Harare Bureau
POLICE raided a Harare property on Thursday and recovered US$4 million in cash and 98 kilogrammes of gold that was stashed in suitcases.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the raid yesterday, saying the suspects had been picked up for questioning in connection with the case.
It is believed that the five suspects wanted to smuggle the money and gold out of the country.
Police sources said they received a tip-off that the suspects were illegally dealing in gold at their premises in Borrowdale and carried out the raid.
Police have since confiscated the money and the gold bars as investigations on the case continue.
The money comprised of US$100, US$50, US$20 and US$10 notes.
The suspects were taken to Borrowdale Police Station for further investigations.
Chief Supt Nyathi said investigations were being done in consultation with other State apparatus.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is still verifying the origins of the 98kg of gold and cash which were recovered at a certain company’s premises in Borrowdale on 5th July 2018,” he said.
“Investigations are being conducted in consultation with other relevant State institutions such as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Fidelity Printers. The gold and cash have since been secured by monetary authorities in the country.”
Chief Supt Nyathi said the public will be advised in due course on the progress of the verification process.
The country has been negatively affected by externalisation of money for a long-time.
In August last year, police hunted down three Bulawayo business people on allegations of externalising over $7,3 million to Botswana.
The three were identified as Delny Deanna Ashley (41), Farid Shahadat (45) and Ryan Gregory Joseph (29).
They were wanted for contravening Section 8(1) paragraph (b) of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, Chapter 9:24.
During the period between January 14, 2017 to April 7, 2017, the suspect Delny Deanna Ashley Davies, on her own personal capacity and through other couriers who are all Zimbabwean passport holders crossed into Botswana with large amounts of cash and deposited a total of $5 819 106, R500 100, EUR39 500 into her three foreign accounts, namely Stanbic Bank (South African rand) account number 9060001687994, Stanbic Bank (Euro) account number 9060002320067 and Stanbic Bank (United States dollar) account number 9060001680000 and 9060002620435 without the approval of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Police said during the period between February 23 and April 11 last year, Shahadat, who was the director of a gold mining and milling company, Yakuts Marketing (Pvt) Ltd in Bulawayo, with the help of other couriers crossed into Botswana with large amounts of money.
They deposited a total of $1 197 080 into his three foreign bank accounts — Stanbic Bank account number 906 000 257 2465, Stanbic Bank (906 000 257 2504) and Capital Bank (000 370 300 8498) — without the approval of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
On April 12 and 13 2017, Ryan Gregory Joseph deposited a total of $331 700 into his personal foreign Stanbic Bank Account number 906 000 162 9595 in Botswana without the approval of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The three suspects externalised a total amount of $7 347 886.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year gave an ultimatum to those who externalised funds and assets to repatriate them within three months.
The ultimatum expired in February and a list of those who defied returning the funds and assets was published.
President Mnangagwa last week said at least $850 million of the looted $1,4 billion had since been returned to the country. See Comment on Page 4