Pharmacy director in court over Exchange Control Act violation… freed on $20 000 bail.

The Herald

Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent

Bestzone Pharmacy director Isaac Chipako has appeared in court on allegations of contravening the Exchange Control Act.

Bestzone Pharmacy is the first accused in the matter and Chipako is the second accused.

The State led by Mr Lancelotte Mutsokoti opposed bail arguing that Chipako was a flight risk and was likely to abscond.

However, Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi freed Chipako on $20 000 bail.

The court heard that on October 6 it was alleged through social media that Simbisa Brands was offering a Russian sausage and chips for US$1 or $200 contrary to the official rate of $88,5532 per US$1.

It is alleged that, acting upon this information, the Reserve Bank Exchange Control Department Intelligence deployed officers to confirm the allegations through approaching a number of retail outlets purchasing products.

On October 7, Richard Mubata and Humphrey Takaza from the Reserve Bank Financial Intelligence Unit went to Bestzone Pharmacy in Harare’s central business district and bought Benylin Dry Cough medicine.

It is alleged that the first accused offered the two officers the cough syrup for $1260,00 and US$7,00.

The officers were also issued with point of sale receipts to this effect at a rate of US$180 per dollar against a ruling exchange rate of US$88,5532 per dollar published on October 5.

The court heard that this prompted the matter to be reported to the police leading to the arrest of the director.

The Herald