A Harare businessman, Abdullah Ali Mahmud, has been arrested for allegedly assisting nine Bangladeshis enter and remain in the country without valid permits.
The nine men, Sayed Ahamed Rafat, MD Monju, Abdur Rashid, Hossain Tofazzal, Golam Rahaman Mohamad, Sutan Ahmed, MD Faruk, Shahid Ullah and Zahangir Alam, were arrested on June 18 at Charles Prince Airport.
Mahmud was arrested while escorting the Bangladesh nationals who had entered Zimbabwe from Lilongwe, Malawi but his alleged accomplice, Iqbal Kabir Bhuyaia, escaped.
Mahmud was not asked to plead when he appeared before provincial magistrate, Shane Kubonera, facing a charge of assisting uncleared persons enter and remain in the country without a valid permit.
He was granted $150 bail and remanded to July 15. As part of his bail conditions, Mahmud was ordered to surrender his passport, not to interfere with State witnesses and to reside at the address which he supplied to the court.
According to prosecutor Vernancia Mutake, on the day in question, police intercepted communication in the form of an email between Mahmud and Executive Airline which suggested he had paid $5 880 to the airline for the transportation of the foreigners from Lilongwe to Harare.
In the alleged email, Mahmud allegedly instructed the airline officials not to inform the immigration department of anything in connection with the trip.
Police received a tip-off and busted the syndicate, leading to Mahmud’s arrest.