|Conmen remanded out of custody|
|Monday, 30 July 2012 00:00|
TWO men who reportedly extorted more than US$500 000 from a Harare businessman after misrepresenting that they were working for Vice President Mujuru and Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono yesterday appeared in court facing extortion charges.
Abdul Rajak Ibrahim Talati of 73 East Court and Mehboob Valia Gocha of 41 Princess Road in Belvedere extorted the money from Mr Mohamed Sabir Mohamed Iqbal Patel.
They had entered into a deal to purchase his two residential properties in Belvedere.
Talati and Gocha’s matter failed to proceed because trial magistrate Mr William Bhila is now based in Bindura. They were remanded out of custody to August 7.
Prosecutor Mr Obi Mabahwana alleges that Patel sold houses number 12414 and 10383 in Belvedere to the duo in 2008.
Mr Patel charged ZW$39,2 billion and ZW$38,5 billion for the houses respectively.
The two residential properties belonged to MS Patel Family Trust.
The court heard that Talati and Gocha said they were buying the houses on behalf of VP Mujuru and Dr Gono. It is alleged that they agreed that Mr Patel would receive the money through a transfer into his CBZ Bank account.
Talati and Gocha allegedly asked for the properties’ title deeds, which they were given. Instead of paying Z$77,7 billion as agreed, the duo transferred Z$537 300 billion into Patel’s bank account.
It is the State’s case that after Patel realised that he had been given more than what he had charged, he returned all the money suspecting that it was “dirty money”.
Patel allegedly instructed his lawyer to stop the processing of change of ownership for the houses at the High Court. The pair refused to give him back the title deeds and threatened Mr Patel before demanding US$1 million for the release of the documents.
Patel reportedly paid US$550 000 for the release of the title deeds after they threatened him with unspecified action.