TWO suspected bogus immigration officers have appeared in court on allegations of trying to extort US$4 000 from Zimsend (PVT) LTD, trading as Malaicha.
Artwell Kenneth (63), Seremani Machaya and Nation Machaya (35) were facing extortion charges when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi.
Prosecutor Mr Lancelotte Mutsokoti opposed bail, saying the two were a flight risk.
They were remanded to today for bail ruling.
The court heard that sometime last year, the complainant was tasked to apply for work permits by the directors of the company at the Department of Immigration for their foreign employees.
The complainant allegedly applied for the permits at the immigration offices, but made several follow-ups until they were told that the file was missing.
He then received a phone call from Seremani who told him that he was the one responsible for processing the work permits and that he should come through him if he wanted to acquire the permits.
It is alleged that Seremani invited the complainant to his home and told him that he should pay US$4 000 to process the work permits.
Seremani allegedly told the complainant to pay US$2 500 upfront and the balance on collection of the work permits.
The complainant allegedly paid US$2 500, but later realised that he was being extorted after suspecting that Seremani could be responsible for the disappearance of the files at the immigration offices.
It is alleged that on May 3, Seremani phoned the complainant and told him that the work permits were ready and that he should bring US$1 800 since he had taken long to collect them.
The complainant allegedly told his superiors who advised him to report to the police.
Seremani allegedly phoned the complainant directing him to his homestead to bring the money and collect the permits.
It is the State's case that on that same day, a team of police officers set a trap to arrest Seremani. But when the complainant arrived at Seremani's place he was told that he was not around.
The court heard that after a while, Machaya came out and told the complainant that he had been sent by Seremani to collect the money and handover the permits.
The complainant handed over the trap money to Machaya, who was then arrested by the detectives.