Bogus Travel Agent Cons Couple US$4 000 Seeking Poland Visas

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By Mary Taruvinga

A SUSPECTED fraudster who conned a Harare couple of US$3 900 after misrepresenting she was a travel agent and would facilitate a visa to travel to Poland appeared in court Thursday.

Patience Chidavaenzi (25) appeared before Harare Magistrate Judith Taruvinga facing fraud charges.

She was not asked to plead and was granted $10 000 bail.

Chidavaenzi will be back in court on September 30 for routine remand.

According to court papers, from April to June this year, Chidavaenzi unlawfully and intentionally misrepresented facts to Chipo Sithole that she is an agent of EuroAfrica Traveling Services.

It is alleged she told Sithole that if she pays US$3 900 cash she would process work permits for Sithole, her husband Tendai Chirenda, and the couple’s child.

Acting on the misrepresentation Sithole paid US$2 000  on May 17, on May 19 she paid US$170, on May 26 she paid US$230, and on June 4 she gave Chidavaenzi US$1 500 making a total of US$3 900 as payment for the work permits.

After the payments, Chidavaenzi made Sithole and Chirenda complete three different forms for the processing of the application, and one of the forms was written in Polish and she allegedly interpreted it to the complainant and her husband.

After completing the forms Chidavaenzi promised the complainants to wait for two weeks for them to be eligible to visit the Polish Embassy and apply for the visas.

The complainants waited for two weeks but nothing materialised. They contacted Chidavaenzi who kept on giving excuses until the complainants realised that the accused had no capacity to process the work permits.

They also established that was no travel agent able to process Polish work permits in Zimbabwe.

The complainants allegedly were prejudiced of US$3 900 and nothing was recovered.