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Businessman Arrested For 'Externalising' Over $500,000

Businessman Arrested For 'Externalising' Over $500,000
Police have arrested a Bulawayo businessman for allegedly externalising more than $500 000 in breach of the country's foreign exchange rules.

Edward Nyevera, a director of Lysavay Enterprise Private Limited, opened a foreign currency account and externalised $510 367 to Botswana without the approval of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Nyevera appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Josephine Sande charged with contravening the Exchange Control Act, which prohibits dealing in gold, currency or securities without approval from the central bank.

He was remanded to October 12 on a $1 000 bail.

The prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that on February 25 this year, Nyevera opened an account with Stanbic Bank in Botswana account number 0960002575405.

It is alleged that during the period extending from February 25 to July 31 this year, he externalised a total of $510 367.

The court heard that of this money, an amount of $180 000 was wired to America from Botswana.

It is the State's case that Nyevera was not given the authority to move the money to Botswana.

Police reacted to a tip off leading to his arrest.

The RBZ has in recent months repeatedly warned businessmen to desist from externalising foreign currency without approval.

The clampdown on illegal foreign exchange dealers comes amid reports that more than $3 billion was externalised over the past two years.

Monetary authorities say the externalisation of foreign exchange to offshore accounts by both big and small businesses under the guise of management fees, technical fees and royalties is largely to blame for the cash shortage.

"We already have our Bank Use and Promotion Act in place, which prohibits capital flight and money laundering, but we haven't done enough to stop this from happening for quite some time," RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya was quoted saying in the media last month.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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