THE case in which Omani businessman Thamer al Shanfari — the mega-rich former chairperson of Cayman Islands-based mining company Oryx Natural Resources (ONR) — is accused of kidnapping and assaulting a German investor, Dietrich Herzog in Harare last month was postponed to today amid revelations that senior government officials, foreign dignitaries and a member of an Omani royal family who visited his home in Glen Lorne, were being recorded.
The senior government officials, foreign dignitaries and an Omani royal family member, Highness Mohammed Al-Said, who is the chief protocol officer at the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Muscat, risk exposure because of the court case.
Senior government officials are infuriated that they were being recorded when they visited Shanfari’s house at Number 57 Follyjon Crescent in Glen Lorne.
Several rooms including some bedrooms have cameras.
Shanfari is accused, together with his brother-in-law Ashraf Raslan and a Zimbabwean of kidnapping.
The trial of Ashraf, who is a brother to one of the two diamond and gold dealers — Alexander Filegon alias Alexander Filatov, and an Israeli Mike Raslan — deported in 2012 during a raid at the house, and the Zimbabwean, was scheduled to start yesterday, but was postponed after their lawyer requested more time to prepare for the case.
Police believe Shanfari is on the run in Oman, but he has since denied that he is a fugitive claiming he would soon visit the country.
Some of the senior government officers that visited the house include Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa and Water minister Saviour Kasukuwere who were there during the raid.
Both Mutasa and Kasukuwere denied being there to protect Raslan and Filegon. Mutasa said he was just visiting, while Kasukuwere said he had gone to the house for a meeting with South African businesspeople to explain the indigenisation policy.
According to the documents, Shanfari, who has had access to President Robert Mugabe, is accused of kidnapping and assaulting Herzog on December 6 2013 after he allegedly swindled him of US$3 million in a mining deal that went sour.
Shanfari is the son of the former minister of oil and gas in Oman who served from 1974 until he retired in 1997.
According to the documents, Herzog claimed he was kidnapped by Shanfari, Ashraf and a Zimbabwean and taken to the Follyjon house where he was dragged and locked in a “doghouse” for about five hours.
He alleged that he was assaulted severely with a broken glass and knife. Herzog alleged Shanfari broke into his computer and stole all data and e-mails and smashed his iPhone on a stone wall.
Herzog claimed he was forced to sign an affidavit exonerating Shanfari from allegedly swindling him of US$3 million, which he had invested through him for gold trading.
According to the documents, Shanfari allegedly did not disclose to the German investor that gold trading was illegal in Zimbabwe.