Zimbabwe: Forex Dealers Lose U.S.$765,000 to Fraudsters

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5 November 2019

Eight currency dealers allegedly lost US$765 000 to suspected fraudsters in a botched illegal transaction in Harare last week.

The alleged client, Munir Kamruddin Kazi, requested for United States dollars in exchange for over $17m to be deposited in the dealers' respective bank accounts.

The money, the court heard, was never sent to the dealers' bank accounts.

They, however, received fake proof of payments.

Kazi and another accused person, Shingirai Muringi, appeared in court last week charged with fraud.

Yesterday, their alleged accomplice Andre Pierre Hoffman (41) appeared before magistrate Ms Victoria Mashamba facing a similar charge.

He was released on $10 000 bail coupled with some stringent conditions.

As part of his bail conditions, Hoffman was ordered to report twice a week to the police and to surrender his passport.

He was also ordered not to interfere with witnesses and to continue residing at his address; 57 Sunriver Manors, Borrowdale Brooke, Harare, until the matter is finalised.

Harare lawyer Mr Rungano Mahuni is representing him. It is the State's case that on October 28, Muringi approached Henry Abraham and told him that he was looking for US dollars.

Abraham, the State alleged, did not have enough foreign currency and mobilised other dealers namely Charles Nyamunda, Codwell Muhoni, Wisdom Hodzi, Rodney Makarutsa, Tinashe Kadzunge, Benard Nyangoni and Nyevero Chibisa.

Muringi then took the currency dealers to a house in Avondale where they were introduced to Hoffman who advised them that his principal, Kazi wanted US$765 000.

Hoffman allegedly indicated to them that Kazi would transfer $17 212 500 into their bank accounts.

Abraham contributed US$349 000, Nyamunda (US$28 000), Muhoni (US$100 000), Hodzi (US$51 000), Makarutsa (US$35 000), Nyangoni (US$50 000) while Chibisa contributed US$87 000. The money is said to have been handed over to Kazi who later sent fraudulent proof of payments to the dealers.

Upon realizing that the money was not reflecting in their bank accounts, the complainants made enquiries with their banks and discovered that the transfers were made from an unfunded account. They failed to recover their money prompting them to report the matter to the police.

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