Chinese seeks variation of bail conditions

HARARE - A Chinise national found with 33 000 rounds of ammunition at his Msasa offices in Harare is now seeking variation of his bail conditions.

Wencai Huo, 51, is accused of contravening the Firearms Act.

He is currently out of custody on $2 000 bail.

He was also asked to provide surety in the form of title deeds for a property worth over $100 000, reside at the address provided to the court, surrender his passport, desist from
interfering with witnesses and report once every week to the police, as part of his bail conditions.

Huo, who is the proprietor of Lebanmon Investments, is also facing charges of contravening the Gold Trade Act and Wildlife Act.

On the businessman’s initial remand, the State opposed bail, arguing his release would threaten State security.

His lawyer Deepak Mehta advised the court of his intention to seek bail reprieve for his client, a request he will formally make next Monday.

The State claims that the ammunition was supplied to Huo by an ex-cop and two serving police officers, who reportedly stole it from the Zimbabwe Republic Police National Armoury.

The three, Ananias Machingura, 40, Vengesai Hakunandaba, 47, and Brian Marufu, 39, have since appeared before the same court facing theft charges.

Prosecutors allege that the ammunition was discovered on July 22 by police officers who were carrying out a routine check at Huo’s residence.

They wanted to ascertain if he was complying with the country’s mining regulations.

The police officers recovered 1146 x 7,62mm and 29 934 x 7,65mm rounds of ammunition.

They also discovered 323 x 12-bore rounds of ammunition, 20 by 9 x18mm rounds of ammunition and 1x243mm rounds of live ammunition.

During the search, police also found two bars of suspected gold bullion, one cone of suspected bullion, two small pieces of suspected smelted gold buttons and gold granules as well
as 32 pieces of Chinese chess ivory.

Huo was reportedly found in possession of three unregistered firearms, a CZ pistol and two FN Browning shotguns.

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