LONDON – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Zimbabwe, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, has had his $5 million seized by the HM Revenue & Customs at the London City Airport.
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has been charged with money laundering and has lost the money to the British government.
The National Crime Agency has since taken up the matter but the foreign minister says he will “embark on a court action”.
In 2012, The Border Agency was forced to hand back £700,000 seized from the luggage of billionaire who said the cash was ‘peanuts’ to him. Dr Christoffel Wiese launched a High Court action to retrieve the money which was seized in 2009.
A judge ordered its forfeiture in 2010 saying ‘on the balance of probability’ it was from money laundering but a High Court ruled it ‘unlikely’ that such a wealthy man would be involved in criminal activity.
Custom officials describe the Minister’s choice of carrying $5 million in a hand luggage as a “possible theft of state funds” and the funds could likely be used to support “illegal activities”.