|Trio accused of US$500 000 fraud|
|Friday, 20 April 2012 00:00|
Three men appeared in court yesterday on allegations of fraud involving more than US$500 000. They reportedly cheated an unsuspecting company using Marange Diamonds as a cover-up. Blessing Bumhira (34), Dickson Savanhu (40) and Tendai Makuvatsine (31) allegedly swindled a local company, Omni Africa Pvt Ltd, of US$200 000.
Using the same method, the trio is also alleged to have pounced on the second company, (name not supplied) where they almost got away with more than US$300 000 in a botched pumps deal.
The three who are now being charged with two counts of fraud were yesterday denied bail when they appeared before a Harare magistrate, Mr Kudakwashe Jarabini, who remanded them in custody to May 2 after the State opposed bail.
Appearing for the State, Mr David Magwegwe, alleged that on April 4 this year the trio connived and hatched a plan to defraud businesspeople in Harare after manufacturing fake purchase orders.
They manufactured a purchase order purported to have originated from Marange Diamonds for the purchase of 20 submersible pumps at a value of US$599 000.
The three further manufactured a pro-forma invoice purported to have originated from a South African company called Crossover with a purchase value of ZAR1 311 000 for 10 pumps.
Armed with the alleged fake documents, Savanhu and Bumhira approached Omni Africa in Hillside, Harare where they misrepresented that they had a profitable deal to supply Marange Diamonds with pumps.
The State alleges they lied to Omni Africa that they had secured a supplier from South Africa and produced the fake pro-forma invoice.
Omni Africa, the State says, was attracted by the high profit margin offered by the two men and agreed to the deal before they were supplied with an account number alleged to be of Crossover Company.
As a result, Omni Africa instructed its sister company in South Africa, MUZ Creation Pvt Ltd to transfer US$200 000 from its FNB Bank account to Crossover’s bank account.
After the money had been deposited, the three withdrew the money, which they shared and converted to their personal use.
The three, the State says, after duping Omni Africa, Bumhira is alleged to have contacted the second complainant and proposed a similar deal.
He showed him a fake purchase order and a pro-forma invoice and requested US$327 750, which he claimed was for the purchase of the pumps.
In a bid to lure the complainant, Bumhira, the court heard, produced documents pertaining to the previous transaction with Omni Africa, which indicated that Omni Africa had successfully done such a deal.
However, the complainant became suspicious of the deal because of the high profit margin and asked the two men to leave copies of the pro-forma invoice and purchase order saying he wanted to use them to source funds.
After verifying the documents with Marange Diamonds, who denied ever doing business with Omni Africa or the three accused, the complainant reported the matter to the police leading to the trio’s arrest.
Omni Africa suffered an actual prejudice of US$200 000 while the second complainant almost lost US$327 750 to the trio.