Police in Zimbabwe have launched a manhunt for Lebanese diamond dealer Jamal Ahmed, who is accused by First Lady Grace Mugabe of duping her in a botched $1.3m diamond ring transaction, a report said on Thursday.
According to News Day, court papers filed at the High Court by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Law and Order section, revealed that Ahmed was being investigated for various crimes, ranging from money-laundering to fraud and theft, among other.
The police said they had roped in the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to extradite the Lebanese to Zimbabwe for trial.
“We applied and got a warrant of arrest against this individual. We alerted Interpol to assist us in extraditing him from any country he might be residing, presumably Belgium, Dubai or Europe in general,” police were quoted as saying.
They said that they had been investigating Ahmed since late last year.
Ahmed took the First Lady to court after she allegedly seized his properties, demanding that he repay the $1.3m she had paid for a diamond ring that she decided she did not want when it was delivered to her.
A Harare High Court judge Clement Phiri on December 21 issued a provisional order compelling President Robert Mugabe’s wife to vacate within 24 hours from three properties that she had allegedly seized following the deal that reportedly went sour. Another order to the same effect was issued last week after she allegedly grabbed two more houses belonging to Ahmed.
Grace, however, denied grabbing the five properties, accusing Ahmed of duping her in the botched deal.
Grace described Ahmed as “an international fraudster wanted by international police”.
Ahmed’s name was, however, not on Interpol’s “wanted persons” list.