The former first lady, Grace Mugabe, allegedly used her position to smuggle diamonds and ivory out of the country without her husband’s knowledge and her luggage was not subject to search.
Grace was the wife of the late former President Robert Mugabe who died in 2019, almost two years after he was deposed in a military coup.
The alleged smuggling of diamonds and ivory by Grace was revealed in the final episode of the Gold Mafia Al Jazeera documentary titled “Have The King With You” released on Friday, 14 April.
Speaking to the undercover journalists who posed as Chinese gangsters who wanted to wash dirty money, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) manager Cleopas Chidodo alleged that Grace made a lot of money through smuggling.
He claimed that planes would be sent to diamond mines where the finest diamonds would be handpicked and flown to Dubai via Harare International Airport.
Chidodo further alleged that poachers would be sent to kill elephants and the ivory would be flown out of the country as cargo. Said Chidodo:
She wanted to take things out and Mugabe did not know.
They would go out there and kill elephants and stuff like that. Poachers would then prepare the ivory.
It would come to the airport as cargo in big containers, if the ivory comes and the supervisor asks, they will just say it is for the first family and no one will ask further.
The plane goes to diamond mines and they select some nice diamonds to put in the plane.
The plane will come from the diamond mine and go straight to Dubai, no papers, no what.
They were making money, they made a lot of money.
The Gold Mafia documentary exposed an alleged series of gold smuggling gangs in Southern Africa that help criminals launder hundreds of millions of dollars.
The gang members get rich while plundering their nations and keeping millions in abject poverty.
They use gold to turn dirty cash into clean, seemingly legitimate money for those with large amounts of unaccounted wealth.
The criminals do so by using a complex web of companies, counterfeit identities and fake documents. – (Pindula)