Fugitive human trafficker in court

Fugitive human trafficker in court
Published: 25 June 2018
Employment agent, James Tungamirai Maroodza (30) who is accused of recruiting Zimbabwean women and trafficking them to Kuwait and had been missing for the past two years, is back in court.

Maroodza has been on the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) and Zimbabwe Republic Police(ZRP) wanted list after he absconded while on remand pending trial on allegations of human trafficking. He was arrested on March 15, 2016 and granted $400 bail a day later.

Maroodza was further remanded to April 21, 2016. While out on bail, he defaulted court and was issued with a warrant of arrest and was put on Interpol and ZRP's wanted list. He is alleged to have resurfaced on May 19 and was arrested. Maroodza, who is being represented by Mr Joshua Chirambo, last Friday appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Josephine Sande on the same charges and was remanded to today for bail ruling.

Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa said the State was opposing bail for reasons that were provided by the investigating officer Detective sergeant Mr Washington Maseredza who was being represented by his colleague Detective Sergeant Paul Kuratidza since he was not feeling well.

When called to the stand, Detective Sergeant Kuratidza said Maroodza was now facing 27 counts of human trafficking instead of the initial seven that he had been arrested for in 2016. "The accused has similar pending cases in the court and due to the gravity of the case, he is likely to abscond.

Initially he was facing seven counts, which have now elevated to 27 meaning that while on the run, he committed the same crime again.

"There are additional complainants and there is a chance that more may surface. The accused also absconded when he was granted bail before therefore he is likely to abscond again if granted bail," said Mr Kuratidza.

In response, Maroodza's defence counsel led by Mr Chirambo said that bail was Maroodza's constitutional right. Mr Chirambo also said that the 27 counts of human trafficking are still based on allegations therefore Maroodza was still innocent until proven guilty as outlined in the constitution.

Maroodza was said to have been employing women through a company called Employment Engine Global Services and promising them $600 monthly salaries.

- the herald
Tags: Court,


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