Businessman conned $40k in a car import deal

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By Audience Mutema

A 33-year-old Harare woman on Monday appeared before a Harare magistrate facing fraud charges involving $40 800 she allegedly duped a businessman who had sought her services to try and import a car.

Merylin Matavire appeared before magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura who remanded her out of custody on $200 bail coupled with some reporting conditions.

Matavire will be back in court on January 31.

Prosecuting, Sebastian Mutizirwa said, “Sometime in December 2018, accused in the company of one Philemon Mazonde who is on the run approached complainant at his workplace and misrepresented to him that they had capacity to facilitate him some of his transactions using their free funds in off shore accounts.”

Court heard Matavire further revealed that she was an agent to one Paddy Williams, her accomplice who is still at large.

Williams was purported to be custodian of the said free funds.

It is the state’s case that on December 19, 2018, the businessman who wanted to import a Mercedes Benz contacted Mazonde to process an invoice of GBP10 000 equivalent to $40 800.

He wanted to import the motor vehicle from CSG Motors, United Kingdom of which Mazonde confirmed that he could facilitate the payment using his offshore free funds.

Mazonde instructed the businessman to transfer the $40 800 into Mazonde’s Sword Wear (Private) Limited’s CBZ bank account.

According to the court papers, on December 20, 2018, the businessman made the transfer into the given account from his Lessite Enterprise (Private) Limited bank account.

After a week, the businessman made a follow up with Mazonde and was supplied with a fake proof of payment purportedly made to CSG Motors United Kingdom through a Barclays Bank Zambia account number.

Complainant became suspicious and contacted his suppliers in United Kingdom who confirmed that no payment had been made prompting him to make a police report.

The businessman later lured Matavire to his workplace where she was subsequently arrested by the police.

Total prejudice is $40 800, and nothing was recovered.