THE Zimbabwean arrested at OT Tambo International Airport in South Africa with 23 pieces of gold priced at R11 million ($783 000) is Zimbabwe Miners Federation President Henrietta Rushwaya’s aide and driver, The Zimbabwe Mail can reveal.
Tashinga Nyasha Masimire, the 33-year-old man arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle 23 pieces of gold worth R11 million into South Africa from Zimbabwe, was granted R100 000 bail on Monday.
National spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said Masimire’s release on bail came with strict conditions.
“The alleged smuggler appeared this morning and the matter was postponed to the 1st of July. The suspect was granted R100 000 bail with stringent conditions,” Nkwalase told African News Agency in Pretoria.
“Some of the conditions include that he should not leave South Africa and he also has to report to the nearest police station at least three times per week.”
Masimire was arrested by SA Revenue Service officials after landing at OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park on Saturday.
At the time, Nkwalase said the suspect was allegedly found in possession of 23 pieces of gold worth R11 million.
“Upon arrival in South Africa, the traveller was requested to scan his luggage at international arrivals’ customs section of the SA Revenue Service and 23 pieces of gold were found in his luggage,” Nkwalase said.
“He allegedly failed to declare any items and did not have any permits or licences to be in possession or transport gold, and the Hawks were called to effect the arrest.”
Masimire is facing charges of contravening the Customs Act 91 of 1964 and the Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005.
Last year, former Zimbabwe Football Association chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya was arrested at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, on allegations of trying to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai.
State media in Zimbabwe reported that the Miners Federation of Zimbabwe president, Rushwaya, was arrested by Criminal Investigation Department detectives after the gold was found in her hand luggage during a search at check-in.