THE trial of Harare-based Indian businessman Kassam Shiraaj charged with illegal possession of diamonds worth over $700 000 is set to begin on January 7next year.
Harare magistrate Milton Serima confirmed the trial date on Monday and remanded him to that date.
Shiraaj (50) of Lincoln Green in Belvedere was charged with contravening the Precious Stones trade Act and the Gold Trade Act after police detective unearthed diamonds, emeralds and gold at his home.
Allegations are that on November 5, Shiraaj was nabbed by police detectives in possession of rough and uncut diamonds which were stashed in his office safe.
Police detectives recovered 630 pieces of diamonds placed in a sachet and nine sachets containing 1 247,3 grammes of emeralds, seven bars of smelted gold weighing 4 007,79 grammes, a plastic containing 1 344,76 grammes of gold granules and another plastic with 2 029,78 grammes of gold alloy.
The recovered precious stones were taken to Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe for evaluation.
Shiraaj failed to produce a permit or license allowing him to deal in minerals, leading to his arrest.