Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
A 35-year-old Congolese man seeking refuge in Zimbabwe was recently arrested with over 600 pieces of diamonds worth 843. Nitta Didier appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe facing charges of contravening section 3 (1) of the Precious Stones Trade Act Chapter 21.06 as read with section 3(2) of the same Act which prohibits possession of precious stones without a licence.
Didier, of Number 26 Cumberland Way in Eastlea, Harare, was denied bail.
Prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri told the court that when she perused Didier’s docket, she assumed that he would enter a plea of guilty.
“The accused was caught red-handed and granting him bail will be a ticket to flee.
“He is a flight risk since he is a refugee in Zimbabwe and his expiry date is April this year. He was in Zimbabwe since 2007,” she said.
Ms Mukumbiri alleged that last Wednesday, Minerals and Border Control Unit Headquarters detectives received information that Didier was in possession of diamonds and was looking for buyers.
It is alleged that Didier was driving a light green Nissan vehicle with registration number ADK5638.
The court heard that he later parked the car outside house number 34 Fereday Way, Eastlea in Harare.
Detectives managed to locate the vehicle and pounced on Didier who was in the company of a passenger.
Didier was searched and 678 pieces of diamonds were recovered in his trouser pocket wrapped in a khaki envelope.
Detectives also searched the passenger but found nothing of police interest. Didier failed to produce a licence authorising him to possess the diamonds and he was arrested.
The diamonds were taken to the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and 675 of them were found to be real diamonds valued at US 843,04