Somalian diamond dealer jailed

HARARE - A Mutare magistrate has jailed, for five years, a Somalian refugee, who was found in unlawful possession of a 25-carat diamond.

Homar Tounkara, 30, was sent to prison after he was convicted for contravening the Precious Stones Trade Act.

Tounkara was further accused of contravening the Immigration Act, after he failed to produce a valid residence permit.

He has since approached the High Court seeking to be freed on bail, in a matter that will be heard today.

The court heard that Tounkara was arrested while at Golden John Lodge in Mutare in August this year.

Upon his arrest, he was found in unlawful possession of six pieces of diamonds weighing 25,73 carats, valued at $294, 35.

He was arrested after the police received information to the effect that he was selling some diamonds.

On the day in question, the court heard that a team of detectives was deployed at Golden John Lodge, where they posed as diamond buyers, while armed with a rifle.

The court heard that Tounkara visited the police officers in the room that they had booked at the same lodge.

The police officers attempted to arrest Tounkara after he produced one of the diamonds from his mouth, demanding $700 for the piece.

Tounkara began wrestling with one of the police officers, who had a firearm, while attempting to disarm him.

The court heard that the firearm accidentally discharged.

Tounkara was eventually arrested and police officers managed to recover some of the diamonds after searching him.

When he was arraigned before the Mutare Magistrates’ Court, Tounkara denied the allegations. He said that he had not been in possession of any diamonds.

He denied being an illegal immigrant, arguing that he was a refugee based at Tongogara Refugee Camp.

In his bail statement, Tounkara said that it was clear that he was wrongly convicted and had high prospects of success on appeal.

“There is high possibility that appellant (Tounkara) was arrested because he is a foreigner and refugee,” he argued in his court papers.


Comments (1)

Apa uri mu refugee,apa wavaku dealer ne ma diamonds!Send the foolish refugee back to Somalia.Aka tizei kumusha kwake?Tsotsi ye munhu.Nxa

Foolish Somali - 10 December 2015

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