Fungai Jachi Court Correspondent
A Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) supervisor yesterday appeared in court for allegedly swindling a Chinese businessman of $100 000 in a botched tax deal.
Licious Kawondera Charakupa (48) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo charged with criminal abuse of duty.
He was remanded in custody to today when his lawyer Mr Simon Chabuka of Madotsa and Partners is expected to apply for bail.
Prosecutor Ms Idah Maromo alleged that on August 6 this year, Charakupa received information to the effect that a Chinese company, Froriscent Enterprises was under-valuing imported goods.
It is alleged that Charakupa, teamed up with Tapfumaneyi Chipunza and Gilbert Mawisire to raid Froriscent Enterprises without authorisation.
The court heard that the trio confiscated four laptops and company files.
It is the State’s case that Froriscent general manager, Hongquan Ding who does not speak English, told his friend Xinfeng Li about the issue.
Allegations are that Li spoke to Charakupa concerning the matter and the two agreed to meet.
Charakupa met with Li at Avondale Shopping Centre where he informed him that Froriscent Enterprises was supposed to pay tax amounting to $2 to $3 million, it is alleged.
The court heard that Charakupa promised to help Li reduce the amount after speaking to his superiors.
It is further alleged that the following day, Charakupa in the company of a woman he claimed to be his superior met with Li at Cresta Lodge in Harare.
The State alleged that the two demanded $200 000 from Li as payment for them to close the case, but after negotiations Li agreed to pay them $100 000.
On September 1, Charakupa was allegedly given $100 000 by Li and he then returned the four laptops and company files he had confiscated.
The matter came to light on October 9 when Zimra approached Froriscent Enterprises enquiring about the raid and the complainant confirmed the it.
He told Zimra officials that their confiscated property was returned after paying $100 000 to Charakupa.
The matter was reported to the police leading to his arrest.