Chinese entrepreneur in dock for evading US$40 k duty

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By Mary Taruvinga

A CHINESE businesswoman, Li Song has been dragged to court charged with fraud after allegedly evading paying customs duty totalling US$40 000 after importing chemicals into Zimbabwe.

The 53-year-old accused person briefly appeared before Harare Magistrate Dennis Mangosi recently and was not asked to plead.

Song was granted US$300 bail and remanded to June 27 for routine remand.

As part of her bail conditions, Song was also ordered to report to the police once every fortnight and not to interfere with witnesses until her matter is finalised.

The complainant is Francesco Marconati, who is the former managing director of DGL 9 Investments (Pvt) Ltd and DGL 5 Investment.

It is alleged that sometime in 2023, Song made an application to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) for rebates to import sodium cyanide and hydrated lime.

Accused person tasked her accomplice, Bernadete Mukuku, a former employee of DGL 5 Investment, to make follow ups with ZIMRA on the approval of the rebates application letter.

The application was approved by ZIMRA station manager Bulawayo Port for consignments of sodium cyanide using the name DGL 9 Investments and copied to Mukuku.

“The consignments of the chemicals were imported from Mauritius to Zimbabwe under DGL 9 Investments with the assistance of Mukuku thereby deceiving ZIMRA,” said Thomas Chanakira appearing for the State.

As a result of the misrepresentation, Song did not pay for duty for the said consignment and did not deliver the chemicals to the company whose name was used to import.

In the process of committing the offence, DGL 9 Investments suffered its good reputation and administration.