Ambassador in trafficking saga

Kuwait Embassy official Brenda Avril May (left),  who is accused of human trafficking, is escorted by a police detective as she arrives at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday. - (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu). INSET: Former Kuwait ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmed Al -Jeeran

Kuwait Embassy official Brenda Avril May (left), who is accused of human trafficking, is escorted by a police detective as she arrives at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday. – (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu). INSET: Former Kuwait ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmed Al -Jeeran

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Former Kuwait ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmed Al -Jeeran has been implicated as the ring- leader in the human trafficking syndicate that has seen over 200 female job seekers lured to Kuwait on the pretext they will secure decent employment, when, in actual fact, they will be sold and forced into prostitution and other menial jobs.

Al-Jareen, using his powers as the ambassador, allegedly connived with his secretary, Brenda Avril May, and advertised for nurse aide vacancies in Kuwait.

They indicated that those interested should contact May who would then organise their travel arrangements.

This came out during the bail hearing of May who was re-arrested yesterday.

Al-Jeeran and May were implicated by some of the victims who managed to return home with the help of Zimbabwean officials in Kuwait.

May was released on Monday by the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the police were advised to proceed by a way of summons.

However, May was rearrested after fresh details emerged.

She is being represented by Mr David Dhumbura.

Representing the State, Mr Peter Kachirika and Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa opposed bail and called the investigating officer Detective Sergeant George Garauzive who gave evidence in support of refusal of bail.

Det Sgt Garauzive said if convicted the accused persons faced life in prison or a minimum of 10 years behind bars.

“Your Worship, the penalty might induce fear and force the accused person to flee if granted bail. We are strongly opposing bail because her accomplices, most of them in Kuwait, are yet to be arrested,” he said.

He added: “As the secretary to the ambassador, it was easy for her to process visas for the victims in her personal capacity. She did all this with the blessings of the former Kuwait ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmed Al-Jeeran whom she connived with.”

He further said that May communicated directly with the victims who were unaware of what was to befall them in Kuwait.

During cross-examination, Mr Dhumbura argued that his client was not a flight risk adding that she did not flee when she was released on summons.

He further said that May was not responsible for issuing visas at the embassy.

Mr Dhumbura, however, argued that the police had “smuggled” his client into court after she had been released by the PG’s Office.

He said the facts submitted to the PG’s Office on Monday were the same facts she had been brought to court on adding that there were no fresh details as alleged by the police.

The magistrate, Mr Elijah Makomo, questioned the police as to why they did not bring May on summons.

“Are you still taking instructions from the PG’s Office or you are now doing what you want? What has changed from what you were instructed yesterday (Monday)?”

Det Sgt Garauzive maintained that they prepared a new request for remand form after new details emerged and re-arrested May.

She was remanded in custody to today for bail ruling.

It is the State’s case that May recruited Edith Chapo, Stella Jakarasi and Cynthia Dube among others. She told the victims that their travelling requirements were to be catered for by their “employers”.

When they got to Kuwait their passports and mobile phones were confiscated and they were placed under house arrest where they were abused, worked as maids for long hours without food.

They were later rescued by the Zimbabwean Embassy officials in Kuwait who facilitated their return home.

Meanwhile, police have also arrested an employment agent, James Tungamirai Maroodza (30), who runs Employment Engine Global Services.

Maroodza reportedly placed an advertisement in a local newspaper to the effect that maids were wanted in Kuwait at a salary of $600 per month.

Sylvia Chabikwa and her sister, Agness, responded to the advert and were advised by Maroodza to go for HIV tests which they did.

Maroodza is said to have facilitated their visas and air tickets.

On arrival in Kuwait, their passports were confiscated by immigration officials who handed them over to an agent identified as Hannan.

Hannan took them to a certain place where he forced them to remove their clothes and put on Moslem regalia which he provided.

According to the State, the two sisters were subjected to slavery and all sorts of abuse at the hands of their “employers”.

The pair was also rescued through the Zimbabwean Embassy.

Maroodza was remanded in custody to today for bail application.

This brings the number to nine of people arrested so far in connection with the case.

Seven other accused persons are on $300 bail each.

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  • ian

    Any comments from the Kuwaiti government, Mr. Reporter?

  • Pisanai

    Job well done!! Let them rot in jail.

  • Tonderayi Chanakira

    And when are our 200 Zimbabwean sisters coming back home?

  • silent chikanda

    Mr. Dhumbura, your client is a damn big flight risk and deserves custodial remand..let the detectives do their job…i suppose you want to impress your client but remember we have a case of human trafficking here…not shop-lifting…consider the gravity of the case… be reminded that the police never take chances on such kind of suspects…

    vanhu ava ngavasungwe mapurisa apiwe nguva yavo yakakwana pasina interference kutsvaga kuti who did what, where and when and for what prize… masuspects anekodzerowo asi saizvozvo ngatirangarirewo kuti kodzero dzacho hadzisi pamusoro pema rights wo ema victims 200 aya.. Iyi nyaya iri serious varume..even Mr. Dhumbura understands that…

    Rule of law….yaah…we have it plenty in Zimbabwe..
    You victimize a Zim citizen in your country…. Make sure you are not caught…
    We do it the American style…. an injury to one is pain to all…
    Kuwait here we come..

  • Isac Hunt

    look east they said. kkkkkkkkkkk

  • Emru Kunanti

    There is also need for media outlets like the HERALD and especially SUNDAY MAIL to play a very important role. Everyday we see dubious adverts being flighted in these papers. Its high time they work closely with CID such that all who flight such funny adverts should be investigated way before they even recruit people. Also, undercover agents should pretend to be maids searching for employment and catch these culprits!!

  • kanos

    I second you

  • Softkwiti

    Vanhuweeee look at her face it says it all

  • bugah729

    Shame to Kuwait for sending thugs to represent their nation in our country. Our government should pursue this matter until we liberate all our sisters who fell for the trap. Very sad story.

  • g.d

    You can tell from her face that ndisatane chaiiye

  • g.d

    She is very satanic this woman. Anoda instant justice becoz the Magistrate is just trying to sympathize her blaming police for denying her bail. Zimbabweans are very peace loving pple otherwise they should have applied Shariya law unto this devil

  • karombe

    these pple treat us like animals asi imi vanhu ndimi munomhanyira kwavari. ngatide zvedu mari but still maintain our dignity

  • silent chikanda

    interesting faces.. Hameno weku Kuwait ari mu picture frame pamadziro anenge mmmh handina shuwa naye kkk kkk….uyo muchembere Brenda Avril chiso chake mmmh heyi..hameno kunge muroyi… uyuwo wedu detective looks like she is in a no nonsense mood…basa se basa…
    .. Hurumende nekoko vemachechi wo pamabvi….i am sure vanasika vedu vachadzoka kumusha..