Cyanide smuggling case: Accused claims diplomatic immunity 

Source: Cyanide smuggling case: Accused claims diplomatic immunity -Newsday Zimbabwe

A Harare-based Chinese businesswoman arrested Wednesday on allegations of smuggling more than 100 tonnes of cyanide has been further detained at Avondale Police Station as authorities seek to verify her diplomatic immunity claims.

Li Song was supposed to appear in court Thursday on a smuggling charge. However, the process hit a snag after she told National Prosecuting Authority officials during vetting that she was a diplomat. She was further detained in police custody to allow for verification of the claims with the Chinese embassy.



 The Chinese national is accused of evading duty on the more than 100 tonnes of sodium cyanide and 40 tonnes of hydrated lime she imported in 2023. Allegations are that sometime last year, Li fraudulently obtained duty rebates to import the chemicals after claiming to represent Eagle Italian Shoes and Leather.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission investigated that matter and established that this happened long after she had ceased to be a co-director of the company. The consignment was imported from Mauritius under the company’s name, thereby prejudicing the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

Li has been summoned to appear in court on May 21 on an externalisation and money-laundering charge in which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is the complainant.