By Staff Reporter
TWO men and two women were each slapped with four-year jail terms US$5 475 and $533 in bond notes out of a Mukuru.Com Money Transfer agent in Chivi recently.
On 11 January this year, Prosper Chitanga, Coordination Magavhe, Shelter Ezra, all of Chivi Growth Point teamed up with Barbra Masvosvere from Beitbridge and hatched a plan to defraud Mukuru.Com inside N. Richards Wholesale at Chivi Growth Point.
The four were later arrested and sentenced to four years in prison each with suspended two years for good behaviour and if they returned some of the unrecovered money.
Magavhe, Ezra and Masvosvere pleaded guilty while their accomplice, Chitanga denied the charges before he made an appeal against both sentence and conviction at the High Court.
Hearing the appeal filed by Chitanga, Justice Garainesu Mawadze said: “The offence of fraud in this matter was committed with surgical precision. Coordination as his name denotes was the coordinator of this whole criminal enterprise as he was an ex-employee of Mukuru.Com at Chivi Growth Point.”
Magavhe provided Masvosvere with a clipboard, counterfeit audit papers tilted Mukuru.Com, two T-shirts inscribed, “Mukuru Send Money Home” and some cash box keys which he had stolen while employed at Mukuru.Com.
“Chitanga’s role, which he disputes, is that he provided a laptop which the counterfeit Mukuru.Com fraudulent documents were generated and acted as a sentinel during the execution of the offence by Barbra.
“Shelter again as her name denotes, provided shelter to the culprits as the plan to commit this fraud was polished at her residence. She offered accommodation to Barbra and provided a handbag Barbra used,” said Justice Mawadze.
The plan was executed when Masvosvere went to Mukuru.Com as an internal auditor from Mukuru.Com Company head office in Harare who had come to carry out official duties at the branch.
She approached Raviro Chirape, a cashier and then proceeded to carry out an ‘audit’ inside the booth.
Masvosvere then asked Chirape to go and buy her some water to drink and when she went out, Barbra took all the money at the branch which included US$5 475 and $533 in bond notes.
On Chirape’s return, Masvosvere caused her to complete fake audit forms which showed that she had carried out her audit duties unaware that Masvosvere had stolen money in her absence.
The four accomplices then regrouped at Ezra’s house and proceeded to Zvishavane to share the loot.
The matter came to light later when Chirape realised that all the money she had in her possession had been stolen.
Police CID details from Mashava later investigated the matter and on the same day arrested Magavhe and Chitanga with the help of CCTV footage from N. Richards.
Upon arrest, the police recovered some US dollars from the two and a laptop bearing serial numbers of counterfeit documents used by Masvosvere.
This led to the arrest of Masvosvere in Beitbridge with US$760 and $67 bond notes and Ezra who still had US$1 800.
The total amount recovered from the four was US$3 589 and $75 bond notes.