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Forex dealers in court

by Staff reporter
13 Nov 2020 at 05:37hrs | Views
Six suspected foreign currency dealers yesterday appeared in court on allegations of using the EcoCash platform to buy US$3 153 317 from the public.

The eight are Felix Tafadzwa Chikuse (38), representing Bailey Charamba Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Shumirayi Charamba (26) representing First Choice Supermarket (Pvt) Ltd, Simbarashe Charamba (39), Vimbai Charamba (41), Rudo Charamba (36) and Georgina Kabanda (35).

They were facing charges of contravening the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and the Exchange Control Act when they appeared before Harare regional magistrate, Mrs Esthere Chivasa. Mr Michael Reza opposed bail, saying there was overwhelming evidence linking the accused persons to the offence.

The matter was adjourned to today for bail ruling.

The court heard that between January 1 to June 30 this year, when the agent lines were still legal and being used, Simbarashe, acting in connivance with the other accused persons, registered a bulk payer EcoCash agent line and a number of agent lines which they could use to buy foreign currency from the public.

It is the State's case that First Choice Supermarket employees conducted the transactions from their employer's office on specific directives from Simbarashe and his accomplices to buy foreign currency.

Invoice books retrieved from First Choice Supermarket offices reflect that US$3 153 317 was generated through the illicit deals.

The court heard that the accused sent a total of $145 754 628 through the bulk agent line and redistributed to 40 different Bailey Charamba Investments (Pvt) Ltd agent lines in order to disguise the illicit origins of the money.

It is alleged that Chikuse and Kabanda received commissions from Simbarashe on a monthly basis as the registered owners of the 40 agent lines used to make the transactions.

The court heard that the accused violated the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and the Exchange Control Act by abusing the system for criminal purposes

Source - the herald