5 in court for fuel fraud Trust Vhera, who is employed as a security guard at Mashwede’s High Glen Service Station, Ruzvidzo Mandizha, Tendekai Simbai Gondo, who is employed at Facer Designs, Advoce Manhendere a driver at Munyaradzi Trucking and Tongai Chironga, were not asked to plead to the charges.

Nyore Madzianike-Senior Court Reporter

FIVE men appeared at the Mbare Magistrates Court over the weekend on allegations of defrauding Mashwede Diesel Services of fuel worth more than US$10 000 using counterfeit coupons they had manufactured.

Trust Vhera, who is employed as a security guard at Mashwede’s High Glen Service Station, Ruzvidzo Mandizha, Tendekai Simbai Gondo, who is employed at Facer Designs, Advoce Manhendere a driver at Munyaradzi Trucking and Tongai Chironga, were not asked to plead to the charges.

They were remanded in custody to today for bail application.

It is the State’s case that sometime in December last year, Vhera bought a 20-litre fuel coupon from his employer.

He had intentions to engage Mandizha so that they could produce counterfeit coupons.

The court heard that Vhera then approached Mandizha and allegedly connived to originate Mashwede counterfeit coupons.

Mandizha allegedly agreed to originate 32 counterfeit coupons of 20-litre diesel coupons bearing the Mashwede logo, but without a watermark. 

Vhera then approached Gondo, a computer guru and connived with him to originate another 288 Mashwede diesel coupons.

Gondo then allegedly printed 320×20 litres Mashwede diesel coupons and gave them to Vhera, who was in the company of Talent Maswera, who is still at large.

On December 18, 2022, Vhera, Manhendere and Chironga went to Mashwede High Glen Service Station with the counterfeit diesel coupons and loaded 3×1 000 litre containers and 10×200 litre drums into Manhendere’s truck, registration number AFJ 0277.

They then left them after deciding to load the fuel on the following day.

On the following day, at around 7:30pm Manhendere and Chironga allegedly removed original number plates from the truck and replaced them with fake registration number, AEM 7705. 

Manhendere then allegedly teamed up with Talent Maswera and went to Mashwede Service Station at Highglen to collect the fuel.

Upon arrival, Maswera approached fuel attendant, Johanisi Magaso and asked him to fill in containers which were in his truck and gave him 320×20 litres counterfeit diesel coupons.

Magaso and Vhera, instead of authenticating the coupons first,  just went on to fill up the 3×1 000 litre containers and 10×200 litre drums with diesel totalling 6 380 litres.

Manhendere then drove the truck to Chironga’s place of residence in Mufakose.

They allegedly later hooked up with Vhera, who went with an unregistered Toyota Quantum with an unknown registration number and took the fuel to Tynwald in Harare. 

Manhendere later removed his fake registration numbers and gave them to Chironga, who disposed of them.

On December 20, 2022, the fuel attendant handed over the coupons to his supervisor, who checked and discovered that 320×20 litres diesel coupons were fake as they did not bear the Mashwede Diesel Services watermark.

Investigations were made leading to the arrest of the five.

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