Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Pair Cleared of Gold Smuggling Charge

A Harare man and a British national who were recently arrested while smuggling 5kg of gold worth US$212 085,92 into South Africa through Beitbridge Border Post have been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Beitbridge magistrate.

Richard Anthony Devlin (29) who is a holder of a British passport number 761268497 and resides at Number 197 Brook Drive, Borrowdale and Mark Patrick Greenhalgh (34) of Number 20 Grosvenor Road, Highlands in the capital had been charged for contravening sections of the Gold Trade chapter 21:03 (section 3(1) (a) dealing or possessing gold without a licence) and Customs and Excise Chapter (section 182, smuggling) acts respectively.

Devlin is also the director of Off-Cut Import and Export Traders based at Number 9 Salow, Chisipite in Harare.

They both denied the charges when their trial opened before Beitbridge resident magistrate Mrs Gloria Takundwa arguing that they were not aware that the vehicle they were using which belonged to one Bruce MacMillan was carrying the precious mineral.

Devlin and MacMillan are partners in gold dealing and their licence expired on December 31 last year.

Through their lawyer Mr Victor Zvobgo of Ngarava, Moyo and Chikomo, the duo argued that the gold was acquired during the time they had a valid licence and that at the time of his arrest (Devlin) was no longer dealing in gold.

He said he had no knowledge that the said gold was in MacMillan’s car.

Devlin had been given full authority of the vehicle by his partner to travel to South Africa.

Takundwa set the two free after ruling that the State had failed to prove that they had been in physical possession of the gold.

She also said the State had failed to call MacMillan to court, whose evidence could have enlightened the court as to who had custody of the vehicle before Devlin drove it to Beitbridge.

The State led by Mr Jabulani Mberesi applied for forfeiture of the gold to the State since the duo denied knowledge of the gold but the defence argued that it should be remitted to Fidelity Printers where the owner may pursue payments.

Takundwa ruled that the gold be remitted to Fidelity Printers and that the vehicle be released into Devlin’s custody.

Source : The Herald