Fungai Lupande Senior Court Reporter
A Lebanese woman appeared in a Harare court on Saturday after diamond-detecting equipment and over $15 500 were discovered at her house in Greenside, Mutare.
The court heard that while police were raiding the house, another diamond dealer – Happiness Chikwenje – arrived, selling more than 10,8 carats, which were concealed in her bra.
Ali Sleiman Ahmad (36), who holds both a Lebanese passport and a Mozambican passport, appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa jointly charged with Chikwenje of Chief Marange, Bocha, in Mutare.
The pair was granted $1 000 each and is expected back in court on January 22. The prosecutor, Ms Linda Gadzikwa, said the police received a report that diamonds were being stolen at the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).
It is alleged that Ahmad is one of the illegal diamond dealers, who financed ZCDC’s employees to steal diamonds in the company’s sorting house.
Ahmad allegedly smuggled diamonds to Mozambique through the Forbes Border Post.
It is alleged that on December 30 last year, detectives received information about Ahmad and they raided her house in Mutare. They recovered a silver diamond colour meter, a black diamond tester, a fluorescent table light, a black UV light, a digital scale and a device fitted to a magnifying glass. It is alleged that Ahmad was in possession of $15 595 and two books with records of diamond transactions.
The court heard that during the raid, Chikwenje phoned Ahmad with the intention to sell some of the diamonds in her possession.
She was subsequently lured into Ahmad’s house and was found in possession of more than 10,8 carats.
This brings the number of people who have appeared in court in connection with ZCDC’s stolen diamonds to six.
ZCDC’s diamond sorter Anesu Dhliwayo (34) was recently denied bail while his accomplices, an internal security guard Tobias Mukundu, a diamond sorter Elphas Dhaka and a Closed Circuit Television operator Stalin Munyanyi have already appeared in court on the same charges.
They were remanded to January 12.
It is alleged that quartet, which was denied bail yesterday, smuggled fake diamonds into the company’s sorting house and replaced them with real diamonds.