A Zimbabwean-based Indian businessman has been acquitted of charges of fleecing local illegal foreign currency dealers of $765 000 in a deal that went sour.
The Indian mogul Munir Kazi and his co-accused Andre Hoffman had their application for discharge accepted by Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro on Tuesday on the grounds that prosecutors failed to produce compelling evidence against them.
Muchuchuti-Guwuriro said the foreign currency dealers approached the court with dirty hands, which meant that if the foreign currency deal ever it existed was illegitimate.
She said prosecutors led grossly unreliable and contradictory evidence from the forex dealers who were complainants in the case
Muchuchuti-Guwuriro said none of the foreign currency dealers confirmed giving the money to Kazi.
Prosecutors alleged that on October 28, 2021, Kazi and Hoffman connived with one Shingirai Muringi to fleece the forex dealers.
Muringi allegedly approached Charles Nyamunda Jounet, a forex dealer and misrepresented that they could provide large sums of money in local currency in exchange for United States dollars.
He allegedly said they wanted to buy US$765 000 in exchange for $17 212 500.
- Biti alleges ‘powerful forces’ after him
- Biti files for ConCourt referral
- Lawyers challenge video evidence in Sikhala case
- Former minister loses appeal against sentence
Jounet allegedly said he didn't have enough US dollars and was advised by Muringi to source more forex from other foreign currency traders.
Jounet allegedly contributed US$28 000, Codwell Muhoni (US$100 000), Wisdom Hodzi (US$51 000), Rodney Makarutsa (US$35 000), Benard Nyangoni (US$50 000), Nyevero Chibisa (US$87 000), Tinashe Kadzunge (US$65 000) and Henry Abraham (US$349 000).
Muringi, on the same day, allegedly introduced Jounet, Hodzi and Makarutsa to Hoffman in Avondale, Harare.
Hoffman allegedly told them that Kazi would transfer money into their bank accounts and when that did not happen, the forex dealers reported the matter to the police.
Kazi last year applied to have his matter separated from Muringi, who is yet to appear in court to answer charges on the fraud case.
Muchuchuti-Guwuriro said no one would genuinely just give away such large sums of money without signing any document, more so, to someone they met on the same day and did not have a close relationship with.