LI JUNG CHANG, a Chinese technical adviser attached to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces factory in Domboshawa, was yesterday fined $200 for attempting to externalise $32 000 to his native country without seeking clearance.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Chang, who was arrested on Tuesday at Harare International Airport, was convicted on his own plea of guilty to contravening exchange control regulations when he appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe.
Chang operates a bookstore at Borrowdale Brooke in Harare.
Chang’s lawyer Tunga Muganhiri, in mitigation, had said there were special circumstances that the court should consider in the matter.
“The convict was bona fide ignorant of the law and such factors constitute not only mitigatory, but special circumstances. All the checkpoints at the airport are written in English and the convict is not conversant with the language,” Muganhiri said.
He added: “The accused had no intention to smuggle the money. He did not declare $5 000 and hid the rest. The entire amount he was found with was that which was on his person.”
However, prosecutor Samantha Dhlamini insisted that the excess $27 000 should be forfeited to the State as provided for by the law, arguing ignorance of the law was not a defence.