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Director fined for trading without RBZ approval


NOBLE Kopeni, a director at a Harare-based tobacco company, was yesterday fined $150 for purchasing tobacco valued at $36 150,78 without the approval of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) as provided for under Section 4 of the Exchange Control (Tobacco Finance) Order 2004 Statutory Instrument 61/2004.


Kopeni (28) stood in the dock on behalf of his company Sunrise Tobacco (Pvt) Ltd and pleaded guilty to the offence.

In passing sentence, presiding magistrate Tendai Mahwe said he had considered that Kopeni was a first offender and did not waste the court’s time after entering a plea of guilty.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) chief inspector in the Exchange Control Division Onias Masiiwa was the State witness.

Prosecutor Francisca Mukumbiri told the court during trial that Sunrise Tobacco purchased 13 673kg of tobacco worth $36 150,78 at Premier Tobacco Auction Floor using locally sourced funds. The RBZ received returns from the auction floor indicating that Sunrise Tobacco had purchased the crop from its floor.

The central bank later discovered that Sunrise Tobacco purchased the tobacco on May 6 this year without authority and immediately made a police report.

According to the State, Sunrise Tobacco which was affiliated to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, was supposed to raise its money offshore and not use locally-sourced money to purchase the crop.

Tobacco auction floors are required by law to submit to the RBZ daily tobacco sales returns for the purposes of monitoring.

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