Attempt to bribe detectives backfires
Friday, 15 June 2012 12:00
Tendai Rupapa Court Reporter
A businessman was arrested for trying to bribe detectives who foiled his bid to smuggle more than 14 kg of gold worth more than US$600 000 into South Africa. Police Border Control and Minerals Unit detectives intercepted the contraband stashed into an improvised hidden compartment in a company
car being driven by two workers.
After the arrest, Yaya Materiya (30), a director of Norstein Trading Pvt Ltd and his brother Rashid (34) who had accompanied him to the police, offered detectives US$93 230 as bribe.
Yaya and his workers Dennis Kwendamawira (60), Timothy Makarimayi (49) and Fungai Mashava (28) were not asked to plead to a charge of illegally possessing 14, 635kg of gold under the Gold Trade Act when they appeared before magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma.
Yaya and his brother are facing another charge of bribery.
They were granted US$1 000 bail each and were ordered to surrender their passports.
They were also ordered to reside at their given addresses until the matter is finalised.
Yaya was ordered to surrender title deeds of his house as surety.
Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza had opposed bail on the basis that the accused persons are facing serious offences.
In his submission, he alluded to the case of the State versus Newman Chiadzwa who was found in possession of diamonds and arrested by the police before offering them Z$300 000 bribe on April 28 1988.
He said that in his ruling, the then Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena denied him bail.
Mr Reza also applauded the detectives who refused to accept the bribe saying they vindicated the police since people have been associating the force with corruption.
The accused persons had applied for bail through their lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange arguing that they were suitable candidates for bail since they were all family men. Mr Samukange argued that his clients have no criminal records and added that Chiadzwa was denied bail on the basis that he was a serial fraudster. Ms Tshuma ruled in favour of the defence and remanded the five out of custody to June 27.
It is alleged that on June 9 this year, Yaya loaded 39 smelted buttons of gold weighing 14,635kg into a company vehicle, a Mercedes Benz.
Yaya, the State alleges, gave Kwendamawira the vehicle which he later handed over to Makarimayi and Mashava for them to smuggle the gold into South Africa.
Acting on a tip off, detectives intercepted Makarimayi and Mashava along the Harare-Masvingo Road while on their way to South Africa.
It is the State’s case that the detectives searched the vehicle and found the gold stashed into an improvised hidden compartment leading to the arrest of the two.
Makarimayi and Mashava, it is alleged implicated Yaya and Kwendamawira who were called by the detectives and ordered to report to Minerals Unit at Harare Central Police Station. At the station, it is further alleged that, Yaya and Rashid offered detectives US$93 230 as bribe and immediately another charge of bribery was added.
The money was taken as an exhibit.