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Gold Mafia ‘Boss’ Wife Wins US$1m Legal Battle Against Businessman

Leigh Ann Patricia Rudland, the spouse of Simon Rudland, an alleged gold smuggler and money launderer, has successfully won a legal case amounting to US$1 million against businessman Luka Ignatius Fabris and his company, Spartan Security (Pvt) Ltd.

The ruling was made by Harare Magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka, who found Fabris and his company guilty of defrauding Patricia Rudland in connection to an investment she made with them in 2019.

According to the prosecution’s case, Fabris and Spartan Security had promised Patricia Rudland a 2% monthly return on her investment. However, she only received a total of US$540,000 in returns before the payments ceased.

The court dismissed Fabris’ argument that the deal was simply an arrangement to convert a bank transfer into cash, and that the value of the cash fell due to inflation.

The court deemed Patricia Rudland’s testimony credible, and her evidence was clear and satisfactory. The court found no reason for her to lie against the accused, and there was no paper trail of money being paid back to her.

The prosecution expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision and hoped it would deter others engaged in fraudulent activities. They also stated their commitment to tirelessly work to ensure justice is served and that those who break the law are held accountable.

Fabris has been previously involved in controversy, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe freezing a US$1 million deposit held by a local bank in 2018 amid suspicions it could be proceeds from an illegal gold deal.

Additionally, a 2022 Al Jazeera documentary highlighted Simon Rudland’s involvement in a complex web of transactions, including allegations of money laundering and gold smuggling. His business associates reportedly include former government officials and military personnel. In 2019, he survived an attempted assassination, but the perpetrators were not identified.

According to documents and witness statements recorded by Al Jazeera, Rudland provided financial support to the Zimbabwean government to bypass sanctions. In return, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, the Zimbabwe central bank’s refinery, allowed his couriers to transport large quantities of gold to Dubai for sale through regular trips.

In response to the documentary, Rudland stated his intention to sue Al Jazeera over the broadcast.

“I deny all allegations made against me concerning gold smuggling, money laundering, or collusion with any government.

“The allegations are false and are made without any proof and the documentary is extremely sensational, this propaganda is injurious to my good name.

“I urge Al Jazeera to retract their statements and issue a public apology.

“Notwithstanding this, I will in any event be instituting legal action against the media house for severe reputational harm caused,” Rudland said in a statement.

South African revenue officials have also accused Rudland, who owns one of the region’s biggest tobacco companies, Gold Leaf Tobacco, of evading taxes by selling his cigarettes on the black market.

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