By Mashudu Netsianda
The trial date of a Bulawayo teenager and her 43-year-old boyfriend who are allegedly linked to a fake foreign currency manufacturing racket, has been set for September 15.
Chantelle Sibalwa (18) of North End suburb was arrested while trying to use a fake US$100 note to buy chicken at a local food outlet. She then led detectives to her house where an assortment of fake high denominations of US dollars and South African rand were recovered stashed under a mattress.
Sibalwa led police to her boyfriend, Onesmus Zimunya (43)’s place of residence along Lobengula Street in the city centre leading to his arrest.
Sibalwa and Zimunya appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Marygold Ndlovu facing charges of possessing articles for criminal use. They were both remanded out of custody to September 15 for commencement of trial. The two are out on $1 000 bail each.
As part of the bail conditions, they were ordered to reside at their given addresses and not interfere with State witnesses until the matter is finalised.
Prosecuting, Mr Leonard Chile said on August 20 at around 11.30am, Sibalwa walked into a Chicken Inn outlet in the city centre and produced a fake US$100 note intending to buy two piecer chicken.
“Sibalwa entered the shop just like any other customer and ordered a box of two-piecer at Chicken Inn using a US$100 note, serial number KB74984746B. Upon payment, an alert cashier noticed that the money was fake and she immediately notified her shift manager,” said Mr Chile.
A report was made to the police leading to Sibalwa’s arrest. Upon being quizzed by police, Sibalwa revealed that her boyfriend was involved in the scam of manufacturing counterfeit notes.
“Sibalwa revealed to the police that her boyfriend had more fake notes at her place of residence including the machine used to manufacture the counterfeit notes,” said Mr Chile.
She led police to her house where US$2 265 and R1 700 in fake money, an HP Diskjet printer, bond paper, rulers and razor blades allegedly used in the commission of the crime were recovered.
The recovered counterfeit money comprising 12 fake US$100 notes, four fake US$50 notes, 11 counterfeit US$10 notes, 13 fake US$5 banknotes and 17 fake R100 notes were hidden under a mattress. The Chronicle