By Staff Reporter
HARARE Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro has acquitted Indian businessman Munir Kazi for allegedly swindling foreign currency dealers of US$765 000.
Kazi and his co-accused Andre Hoffman applied for discharge at the end of the State case, arguing that the State failed to produce incriminating evidence to nail them.
In her ruling, Tuesday, Muchuchuti-Guwuriro cited a lack of evidence while saying the foreign currency traders had approached the courts at the back of breaching the law. Foreign currency trading is illegal in Zimbabwe.
She said the foreign currency deal; if ever it existed, was illegitimate.
Muchuchuti said none of the foreign currency dealers confirmed giving the money to Kazi while adding that the State submitted grossly unreliable and contradictory evidence from the traders.
Allegations were heard that, on October 28, 2021, Kazi and Hoffman connived with one Shingirai Muringi to fleece the forex dealers.
Muringi is said to have 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.
The court heard that Muringi allegedly said they wanted to buy US$765 000 in exchange for $17 212 500.
It is alleged that Jounet said he did not have enough US dollars and was advised by Muringi to source more from other foreign currency dealers.
It is alleged that 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 is said to have introduced Jounet, Hodzi and Makarutsa to Hoffman on the same day in Avondale, Harare.
Hoffman allegedly told them that his co-accused, Kazi, would transfer money into their bank accounts, which was never done, forcing them to report 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.
Magistrate Muchuchuti said no one would genuinely 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.