Uebert Angel, Rudland accounts frozen
Fungi Kwaramba and Blessings Chidakwa, Harare Bureau
INDIVIDUALS implicated in the gold mafia scandal, including prophet Uebert Angel, have had their assets frozen by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit with arrests imminent.
The directive to freeze accounts and arrests confirms the strong position taken by the RBZ against money laundering, with insiders saying they are tracking activities that will expose the money laundering that could have been done by the alleged gold mafia.
According to inside sources at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, more assets have been frozen of those implicated in gold smuggling, money laundering, bribery, and other corrupt activities whose self-incriminating comments are contained in the documentary.
“Ewan McMillan, Kamlesh Pattni, Uebert Angel, and Simon Rudland were reported to banks on March 30 listing all accounts and assets held by these people including their balances,” said an insider.
Part of a memo sent to banks heads of compliance seen by our Harare Bureau read: “Submit confirmation that the accounts have been frozen. No funds should be transferred from the frozen account until the Financial Intelligence Unit has finished its investigations. The directive is with immediate effect,” said the source.
In the Al Jazeera documentary, Angel is captured offering to Al Jazeera’s undercover reporters that he could use his diplomatic cover to carry large volumes of dirty cash into Zimbabwe as part of a laundering operation also involving gold smuggling.
And he is captured repeatedly, name-dropping the President.
The Kenyan-born Pattni, who calls himself Brother Paul features as one who could help the undercover reporters launder more than US$100 million.
A boastful MacMillan is portrayed in the same vein as Rudland as smugglers, who have deals with Fidelity to deliver gold bought from small-scale miners to the refinery.
They then export it to Dubai and allegedly provide hard currency for Zimbabwe. But like Pattni and Angel, this mechanism was portrayed as also allowing him to launder millions of dollars.
In an earlier memo seen by our Harare Bureau, the FIU directed that the assets of Cleopas Chidodo, David Chirozvi, Mehluleli Dube, and Fredrick Kunaka be frozen.
“You are being directed to immediately identify and freeze all assets of the following individuals: Cleopas Chidodo, David Chirozvi, Mehlululi Dube, and Fredrick Kunaka.
“May you also freeze all assets of legal persons and arrangements associated with them. Kindly treat this request as urgent,” read the memo in part.
Chidodo is the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe Head of Security, who was captured in Episode 2 of the documentary detailing how he assists gold smugglers to avoid detection as they transport their contraband to Dubai via Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, while Chirozvi is the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Aurex Jewellery Head of Finance.
Kunaka is the general manager of Fidelity Printers and Refiners. He was allegedly on the payroll of the gold mafia during which he received a kickback of US$30 000 a month, according to the documentary.
Dube, who was allegedly being paid US$3 000 per month by the gold smuggling syndicate, is associated with Golden Beryl Private Limited.
The four form part of the team that has been aiding criminal elements in smuggling gold and abusing their positions.
Earlier on Monday, Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government remains seized with the matter and the nation will be kept apprised of new developments.
“Government takes the allegations raised in the documentary seriously and has directed relevant organs to institute investigations into the issues raised therein.
“Any person found to have engaged in acts of corruption, fraud or any form of crime will face the full wrath of the law,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe is a law-abiding nation that will continue to act as such.
“Government takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to upholding local and international laws, including laws relating to financial transactions, the trade of gold and other precious minerals.
“Boastful behaviour and name-dropping by some personalities featured in the documentary, seeking personal gain and glory should never be taken as an enunciation of Government policy,” she said.
The Second Republic has on countless times warned name-droppers, the corrupt and malcontents who pursue narrow selfish interests at the expense of broad-based development, that the Government is always on high alert to flush them out.
This follows rampant abuse of top Government officials’ names, especially the First Family, by criminally-minded elements who seek to grab national resources at the expense of the public.
But that is not how the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa operates since the First Citizen’s emphasis has always been on honest hard work.