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65 suspected forex dealers to spend more time in jail

Takavingei Mahachi

65 suspected forex dealers to spend more time in jail

The bail hearing for suspected illicit forex traders arrested on Independence Day last week has been moved to this Wednesday. This delay is to allow time for all parties engaged to submit written arguments.

Several of the accused, who were representing themselves, were held in detention because the state refused to grant them bail, noting the seriousness of the allegations they face.

“There are compelling reasons. If convicted, the accused can be sentenced to a custodial sentence and that might force them to flee from this court’s jurisdiction if granted bail,” said Thomas Chanakira, appearing for the state on Monday.

The mood in the courts was tense, with many people gathering in solidarity with the accused. When the bail decision was postponed, some people were extremely upset.

ALSO READ: Government Urged to stop clampdown on forex dealers

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Certain lawyers declined to speak with the media, citing worries about being associated to their clients.

An unnamed lawyer expressed concern that the courts did not recognize certain suspects’ situations as deserving of rapid release.

“It is not fair that the court is treating the case as one, yet the suspects were separately arrested.

“For example, the case outlined against my client has nothing to do with forex trading. Circumstances have no link at all and he is innocent,” he said.

According to another lawyer, the police conducted widespread arrests that inadvertently resulted in the detention of ordinary citizens engaged in their daily activities in town.

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Prosecutors claim that some suspects were found with Point of Sale machines, which they argue connects them to the purported crime.

There are also allegations that undercover detectives used bait money in certain instances to apprehend the accused.

The cases are being adjudicated in two courts, overseen by magistrates Dennis Mangosi and Ethel Chichera. Lancelot Mutsokoti is representing the state in the other court.

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