Zimbabwe’s handbag gold-smuggler fined $5,000

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Henrietta Rushwaya was arrested in 2020 while travelling to Dubai

A court in Zimbabwe has ordered a prominent businesswoman to pay a fine of $5,000 (£4,000) for trying to smuggle gold worth more than $330,000 out of the country in her handbag.

Henrietta Rushwaya, the president of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, was also given a suspended 18-month sentence.

In the traditions of the Shona ethnic group, she is considered a niece of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but they are not related by blood.

Rushwaya, a strong supporter of the ruling party, was caught with gold bars weighing 6 kg at the main international airport in the capital, Harare, in 2020 as she was about to fly to the United Arab Emirates.

She did not have an export permit.

At the time she said she had accidentally picked up the wrong handbag. The gold has been forfeited to the state.

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