HARARE – A BUSINESSMAN with interests at Westgate Shopping centre in the capital was arrested after he was found with diamonds and gold hidden in a safe at his shop.
Kassam Shiraaj, 50, of No.80 Tredgold Drive Belvedere, appeared at the Harare magistrates’ court facing accusations of illegally possessing 3.809.37 carats of diamond, 1 506.41g emerald and 7 382 grams of gold. He was charged for contravening the Precious Stones Trade Act and the Gold Trade Act.
Shiraaj was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe who remanded him to December 1 on US$5 000 bail. Shiraaj was also ordered to surrender some title deeds of his business interests as part of the bail conditions.
The State represented by Sharon Mashavira had it that on November 5 Shiraaj was approached by detectives whilst he was at his office at Westgate Shopping Centre and they asked to search him.
It is said upon search the detectives recovered 630 pieces of diamonds and nine sachets containing some emeralds. Prosecutor Mashavira said that the diamonds were worth US$661 044.23 whilst the emeralds were valued at US$40 767.11. Reports were that detectives conducted a further search and they recovered three gold buttons and seven bars of smelted gold weighing 4 007.79grams.
The detectives also recovered a plastic containing 1 344.76 of gold granules and another one containing 2029.78 grams of gold alloy. Allegations were that Shiraaj failed to produce a license which permitted him to deal is such minerals which led to his arrest.