Zimbabwe: Ecocash Fraudster Steals $20k Goods

25 April 2019

A Harare man yesterday appeared in court for allegedly defrauding six shops of about $20 000 using edited EcoCash messages.

Samson Chome was remanded in custody to April 29 when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo.

The State alleges that on July 18, 2018, Chome hatched a plan to defraud Gain Cash and Cary Supermarket in Graniteside, Harare.

He informed the cashier at the till Faith Sisiya that he wanted to buy using EcoCash and he was given the merchant code for the supermarket.

Chome is said to have immediately edited an old EcoCash message which was in his phone to suit the transaction order of the supermarket valued at $4 995.90 buying Hullet brown sugar which he sent to the merchant code and a receipt was produced from POS machine which was used for this transaction. Chome then loaded the groceries into a truck and drove away.

The offence came to light when the accounts department was doing reconciliations of the sales.

Confirmations were made with Econet and it was confirmed that the transaction was never processed by Econet.

On July 20, Pio Bote the truck driver whom Chome used to hire and ferry his goods bought through the fake EcoCash messages indicated Cash and Carry Graniteside Branch as one of the places from where he ferried some Hullet Brown sugar.

On another count Chome allegedly defrauded Windmill (Private) Limited. He told the cashier that he wanted to buy using EcoCash and he was given the Ecocash merchant code.

Chome is said to have immediately edited the Ecocash message in his phone to suit the transaction order of Ammonium Nitrate fertilisers valued at $8 250 which he sent to the merchant code.

He then ferried the fertilisers using a truck which was noted down on the receipt by the security guard manning the gate.

The offence came to light when the complainant was doing reconciliation of sales. Confirmations were made with Econet and it was confirmed that the transactions were never processed by Econet.

On July 16 2018, Chome hatched a plan to defraud Tredger Traders (Private) Limitated. He told the cashier, Simbarashe Kavhinyu that he wanted to buy using EcoCash and he was given the EcoCash merchant code.

Chome immediately edited the EcoCash message in his phone to suit the transaction order of the hardware valued at $3 516.43 for Tradgers plastic chairs, a four plate stove, doors, frames, galvanised metal sheets barbed wire and hosepipe which he sent to the merchant code.

Chome ferried the goods using a truck. The offence came to light when the complainant was doing reconciliation of sales.

Confirmations were made with Econet and it was confirmed that the transaction as never processed by Econet.

On July 20, the truck driver whom Chome used to hire to ferry his goods bought through the fake Ecocash message Pio Bote made indications at Tredger Traders where he ferried plastic chairs, a four plate stove, doors, frames, galvanised metal sheets barbed wire and hosepipe on July 16.

He used the same method to defraud people up to six counts.

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