Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Three Chinese nationals, who were being accused of cash vending after they were found in possession of $50 000 worth of bond notes, were last week cleared of any wrongdoing by a Harare magistrate. Fang Wei (35), Wu Huanjiu (42) and Wei Wei (30) successfully applied for discharge at the close of the State case before magistrate Ms Nomsa Sabarauta.
A lawyer from Hussein Ranchhod and Company, who represented the trio argued that the State failed to prove a case against them and sought for an acquittal. Ms Sabarauta concurred with the trio and ruled that there was no evidence linking them to the offence. She then acquitted them. In his evidence during trial proceedings, the investigating officer also submitted that the trio was arrested without direct evidence. Fang and Huanjiu are employed at Hanjiu Mineral Development (Pvt) Ltd as accountant and managing director respectively, while Wei is the operations manager at Planners Stationery.
Therefore, the trio argued that the cash they were found in possession of was for the September salaries of their 176 mine employees, who had no bank accounts. During trial, they provided the State with application letters requesting for cash from their bank. They also told the court that in an effort to raise the salaries, they had also borrowed some cash from their colleagues, cash they were found in possession of. It was the State’s case that sometime early last month, officers from Harare CID Homicide received information that the three were trading in cash and the detectives went to No. 136 Seke Road, Harare, to gather more information on the alleged dealings.
While outside Planners Stationery, the detectives saw Fang leaving, carrying a sealed cardboard box, which he placed in his car and drove off towards Chisipite. The detectives followed the vehicle and intercepted it along Enterprise Road and on conducting a search, they recovered $50 000 in bond notes stashed in the box, leading to Fang’s arrest.