Police detectives on Monday arrested Henrietta Rushwaya at the Robert Mugabe International Airport when they searched her hand luggage and found 6 kilogrammes of gold on her.
Rushwaya, a gold miner and the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president, is suspected to have intended to smuggle the precious mineral to Dubai.
She is the former Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) chief executive officer and was at one time accused of conniving to fix international matches.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson, Paul Nyathi, confirmed that detectives from the minerals unit arrested Rushwaya following a tip-off.
She will appear in court on Tuesday, according to a Criminal Investigation Department memorandum.
The detectives monitored her movements at the airport after receiving a tip-off and a metal scanner gave her away when she checked in.
“Searches revealed that the suspect had 6, 09 kgs of gold which had not been legally and properly cleared with customs and relevant offices for exports. This is a suspected smuggling case and police are now conducting investigations,” Nyathi told Grazers News.
The police memorandum shows that Rushwaya, 53, was charged with contravening section 182 of the Customs and Excise Act Chapter 23 which prohibits smuggling.
The value of the gold that Rushwaya was found in possession of around mid-day is yet to be determined.
The detectives alerted the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) of the intended smuggling by Rushwaya and the officers operating the scanning machine searched her hand luggage thoroughly and retrieved the gold, which will be kept as an exhibit at Fidelity Printers, according to the memorandum.
“The accused was questioned about the origin of the gold and indicated that she obtained it from one only identified as Ali of Number 32, Lanark Road, Alexandra Park, Harare. She indicated that Ali (was) a licensed gold buyer using the name Ali Japan 786 Private Limited (sic),” read the memorandum.
It added: “She alleged that she had been instructed by Ali to leave the gold with an unidentified person at Dubai Airport.”
However, Rushwaya failed to produce export documentation for the gold but failed, resulting in her arrest.