The officer, Innocent Mirazi (24), yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of theft as defined in section 113 (1) (a) (b) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23 when he appeared before provincial magistrate, Mr Irvine Mhlanga.

He was remanded out of custody to 28 September for trial on US$20 bail.Appearing for the State, Mr Talent Tadenyika said on Wednesday last week, Mirazi was on duty at Mkoba Police Station when Mr Brain Kanonyonga, a resident who runs a tuckshop came to surrender fake US$50 and US$20 notes.

Mr Kanonyonga told Mirazi that he had come across the fake notes when he was cashing in his day’s takings and he decided to surrender the fake notes to the police, as he did not want it to circulate in the community.

Mr Tadenyika told the court that Mirazi did not book the fake money into official police records.He said the accused later approached one of his workmates, a Constable Mpofu, with the fake notes intending to swap them with original ones, which were in the safe, but Const Mpofu refused.
Const Mpofu had accepted a fine of US$20, which was in following denominations, US$10, US$2 by two and US$1.

She went on to note down the serial numbers of the notes.The court heard that Const Mpofu later surrendered the cash to Mirazi after knocking off.
At about 1.30pm Mirazi exchanged his fake US$20 note for a genuine one before surrendering the cash to a Sergeant Khumalo.Sergeant khumalo noticed that the note was fake immediately after it was handed over to him.

Mr Tadenyika said Mirazi argued that the note was paid to him as a fine but his colleagues refuted his claims arguing that no such note had been accepted or noted as a fine on that day.The fake note was held as an exhibit and the other police officers stated that it belonged to Const Mirazi.

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