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Rushwaya Gold Smuggling Case Uncovers CIO, Buyers' Syndicate

Henrieta Rushwaya in court on Wednesday in Harare. (Photo: Thomas Chiripasi)

Several people, including some members of the Central Intelligence Organization, are being investigated following police’s seizure of over six kilograms of gold stashed in the hand luggage of former Zimbabwe Football Association boss, Henrieta Rushwaya, who was allegedly attempting to smuggle the precious metal to Dubai on Monday at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.

Arguing in court against the state’s consent to grant Rushwaya ZWL90,000 bail with stringent conditions, public prosecutor Darudzo Ziyaduma questioned the state’s move, noting that many people linked to Rushwaya are expected to appear in court on Thursday facing charges of violating some provisions of the Minerals Act.

According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Ziyaduma told the court Thursday that the state appears to have consented to the bail in suspicious circumstances.

“This is an organized plan to commit crime in the manner in which the execution of the offence was carried out. When the accused person approached the exit point, the closed circuit television (CCTV) that mans that area were switched off and her clearance took four minutes from the time she arrived at the airport. The net of the syndicate is actually wider hence upon taking note of that, we have enlarged the scope of the investigation and we expect more suspects to be brought to court tomorrow.”

He is also quoted as saying Rushwaya allegedly tried to bribe detectives investigating the case.

“There is also evidence that was availed to the effect that the accused tried to bribe two officers who had discovered the offence. The net is wider than earlier thought. Hence the decision to withdraw the consent. Additionally, the source where the gold was obtained and its intended destinations are now part of investigations.”

Harare magistrates remanded Rushwaya in custody to October 30. Her lawyer, Tapson Dzvetero, has questioned the state’s failure to stick to the agreed bail conditions.

The 6,09 kilograms of gold seized at the airport is worth US$330,000.

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