Prominent Mutare businessman — Mr Simbarashe Charamba — his wife and four directors of his company are facing money laundering charges involving more than $145 million.
The couple which runs Family First Choice shop situated in Mutare’s central business district was picked up by detectives from Harare on Wednesday morning.
Charamba’s wife, Georgina Kabanda, Felix Chikuse and the businessman’s sisters — Rudo, Vimbai and Shumirai — who constitute the company’s board of directors, were nabbed for contravening Sections 8 (i) of the Money Laundering Act.
They spent Wednesday night in police holding cells and were on Thursday morning taken to Harare for further investigations and prosecution before the courts.
Transactions worth $145 754 628 are being investigated.
By the time of going to print, national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said he was unaware of the arrests.
“I haven’t received that report yet, but as soon as I get something, I will let you know,” he said.
However, detectives privy to the case told The Manica Post that the investigating team received several tip-offs that the businessman was involved in illegal foreign currency dealings at his complex.
“Investigations were carried out and it was discovered that money was being laundered using the banking systems, whereby customers brought foreign currency and had money transferred into their accounts at rates above the prescribed official ones. Civil servants also came and swiped their nostro savings and were either given cash or groceries at rates above the prescribed ones.
“These people had the guts to advertise their illegal dealings via social media platforms for months. The investigating teams are in possession of documentary evidence that shows the transactions and the amounts involved,” said one of the investigation officers who requested anonymity citing protocol. The Manica Post