HARARE – Former Zimbabwe Football Association CEO Henreatta Rushwaya was arrested on Monday whilst smuggling 6kg of gold out of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, police said.
The gold is worth US$366,000.
The 53-year-old, who is currently the president of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, failed to supply gold export approvals when she was confronted by detectives from the Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit (MFFU).
An internal police memo seen by ZimLive said Rushwaya, of Garlake Close in Gunhill, Harare, arrived at the airport at around midday and was tracked by detectives acting on a tip-off.
“The detectives identified the accused as she commenced check in processes and immigration formalities. The detectives immediately alerted the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) scanner operators to thoroughly examine the accused’s bag,” police said.
“Gold was detected by the scanner in the accused’s bag which formed part of her hand luggage. The bag was searched in the presence of the accused by CID MFFU detectives whilst other stakeholders at the airport witnessed the search.
“A total of approximately 6kg of gold whose value is yet to be determined was recovered stashed in the accused’s personal luggage in her bag. The accused was questioned about the origin of the gold and she indicated that she obtained it from one Ali of number 32 Lanark Road, Alexandra Park, Harare.
“She indicated that Ali is a licenced gold buyer using the name Ali Japan 786 Private Limited. She alleged that she had been instructed by Ali to leave the gold to an unidentified person at Dubai International Airport.”
Rushwaya was arrested after she failed to produce mineral export documents for the gold.
Police said she had been charged with smuggling under the Customs and Excise Act and will appear in court on Tuesday.
Rushwaya left her role as ZIFA CEO in disgrace in 2010 after she was implicated in a match fixing scandal.
Rushwaya and several ZIFA officials were accused of fixing international matches involving the Zimbabwe national team between 2007 and 2009 while working with convicted Singaporean match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal.
The scandal, known as Asiagate, led to the suspension from football of several players and officials.